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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Teamster Pleads Guilty to Mail Fraud

BOSTON – A member of the Boston Teamsters Local 82 pleaded guilty on Monday, June 29, 2015 in U.S. District Court in Boston in connection with stealing unemployment insurance benefits.

Thomas Flaherty, 52, of Braintree pleaded guilty to three counts of mail fraud for defrauding the Massachusetts Department of Workforce Development, Division of Unemployment Assistance of unemployment insurance benefits.  U.S. District Court Judge Denise Jefferson Casper scheduled sentencing for Sept. 24, 2015.

From March 2010 to December 2011, while working for Local 82, Flaherty’s gross earnings were $49,890; however, Flaherty made several misrepresentations so that he could collect unemployment insurance benefits.  Specifically, Flaherty falsely reported to the Department of Unemployment Insurance that during the same time period he earned only $10,102.  Flaherty failed to report his weekly earnings or significantly under-reported his earnings so that it appeared to the Department of Unemployment Insurance that he was eligible to receive full or at least partial unemployment insurance when, in fact, he was employed nearly full time and was not eligible.  In total, Flaherty collected $21,093 in unemployment insurance benefits. 

The charging statute provides a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a fine of $250,000 on each count, and restitution.  Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties.  Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Scott S. Dahl, Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General; Mark J. Neylon, District Director of the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Labor-Management Standards; Susan A. Hensley, Regional Director of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration; and Boston Police Commissioner William Evans, made the announcement.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Laura J. Kaplan of Ortiz’s Organized Crime and Gang Unit and Susan G. Winkler of Ortiz’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit.

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Updated July 1, 2015