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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, August 7, 2015

Port St. Lucie Resident Sentenced for Unemployment insurance Fraud

Yesterday, a Port St. Lucie woman was sentenced to five years of probation, and was ordered to pay $14,421.00 in restitution, by United States District Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks, for her participation in an unemployment insurance fraud scheme.

Wifredo A. Ferrer, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Rafiq Ahmad, Special Agent in Charge, United States Department of Labor, Office of the Inspector General (DOL-OIG), and Jesse Pannucio, Executive Director, State of Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), made the announcement.

Hyacinth Oslin Reid, 55, of Port St. Lucie, previously pled guilty to one count of mail fraud.

According to court documents, Reid was a registered nurse who first filed for unemployment insurance benefits in October 2009, when she became unemployed.  The unemployment payments were mailed to Reid bi-weekly by the DEO, which administers the unemployment insurance benefit program in the State of Florida using monies provided by the federal government.  Every two weeks, Reid was required to certify to the DEO that she remained unemployed and eligible for the benefit payments.

After qualifying for the unemployment insurance benefits, however, Reid did find work again at a new job, which should have disqualified her for further payment under the program.  Reid instead continued to fraudulently certify her eligibility for unemployment benefits every two weeks, between October 2009 and September 2010.  In this manner, Reid fraudulently accumulated $14,421 in unemployment benefit check payments for which she was not lawfully entitled.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the DOL-OIG and DEO.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Theodore M. Cooperstein.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

Updated February 4, 2016