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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 14, 2014

Liverpool Woman Sentenced To 55 Months Imprisonment For Fraud Against The New York State Department Of Labor And The Internal Revenue Service

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Patricia Harrington, age 50, of Liverpool, New York, was sentenced in U.S. District Court today in connection with her guilty pleas to 11 Wire Fraud, Tax Fraud and Aggravated Identity Theft charges according to U.S. Attorney Richard S. Hartunian.

U.S. District Judge Glenn T. Suddaby sentenced Harrington to 24 months imprisonment in connection with her September 11, 2013 guilty pleas to submitting six false federal tax refund claims in the name of family members, without their knowledge, during 2011 and 2012. She also received a concurrent sentence of 24 months in connection with her guilty pleas to four counts of wire fraud in connection with a scheme to fraudulently obtain monies from the New York State Department of Labor in 2011 and 2012 by submitting false claims for unemployment benefits in the name of various family members, again, without their knowledge. Harrington also received an additional consecutive sentence of 24 months in connection with her guilty plea to Aggravated Identity Theft. Harrington had admitted she used the identity of another person to commit her crimes. She was also ordered to pay restitution to the New York State Department of Labor in the amount of $19,424 and $28,031.86 to the Internal Revenue Service along with interest and penalties.

At the time she committed these offenses she was serving a term of federal Supervised Release in connection with a conviction for a similar fraud scheme in Pennsylvania in 2009. In admitting that she violated the terms of her release, Judge Suddaby sentenced Harrington to serve an additional seven months imprisonment consecutive to the 48 month sentence imposed. She will serve a total of 55 months imprisonment. Upon her release, she is ordered to serve a term of supervised release of three years and ordered to complete 220 hours of community service.

Harrington had been previously prosecuted in Pennsylvania in 2008 for committing identity fraud over a two year period. There, she had submitted a series of fraudulent student loan applications in the names of relatives without their knowledge. In entering a guilty plea in Harrisburg in December 2008, she admitted that she had applied for approximately 13 fraudulent federal student loans, totaling some $139,000. Following her release from prison for that offense, she began serving a term of supervised release in April of 2010, which was transferred to the Northern District of New York. While living in the Syracuse area, she began the new scheme of applying for fraudulent unemployment benefits and federal tax refunds in the name of family members for which she was sentenced today.

U.S. Attorney Richard S. Hartunian stated, “I want to commend the local, state and federal investigators who worked closely together in bringing this case to justice. We will continue our efforts to seek out and prosecute those who seek to defraud honest citizens of their tax dollars.”

“New York State is a national leader in both preventing and identifying Unemployment Insurance Fraud,” said State Labor Commissioner Peter M. Rivera. “Fraud hurts businesses, those who depend on Unemployment Insurance benefits to support a family and all New Yorkers. Today’s sentencing brings to conclusion a case that exemplifies just how adept our investigators are and our mission to ensure anyone who commits fraud is caught.”

The case was investigated by the New York State Department of Labor, Office of Special Investigations, the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Department, the Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office, and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Division, Syracuse, New York.

The case was prosecuted by Executive Assistant United States Attorney John G. Duncan.

Updated January 29, 2015