Two Individuals Ordered to Pay Over $15,000 in Fraudulently Obtained Unemployment Insurance Benefits

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced that two Rhode Island residents have been ordered to repay $15,371 to the State after pleading in Providence County Superior Court to fraudulently obtaining unemployment insurance benefits by not reporting earned wages to the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training (DLT).


Richard Geminiani (age 57), of Woonsocket, pleaded nolo contendere to one count of obtaining money under false pretenses. Geminiani was given a four-year deferred sentence and ordered to pay $6,477 in restitution to the State. Between January 2014 and February 2016, Geminiani was employed with a window installation company and collected unemployment insurance benefits while failing to report his wages to DLT.


Sareth Chea (age 38), of Providence, pleaded nolo contendere to one count of obtaining money under false pretenses over $1,500. Chea was sentenced to four years of probation and ordered to pay $8,840 in restitution to the State. Between January 2019 and July 2019, Chea worked at a bank and collected unemployment insurance benefits while failing to report her wages to DLT. Chea is a former DLT employee and was familiar with reporting requirements.


“Regardless of circumstances, when individuals collect benefits that they aren’t entitled to, they reduce the amount of benefits that are available to Rhode Islanders who really need them,” said Attorney General Neronha. “While the conduct of the defendants happened prior to this year, I think everyone has witnessed during our government’s response to the COVID pandemic how critical these funds are to those who are really struggling. Although the pandemic may have heightened the public’s awareness of issues related to unemployment benefits, this work has always been important because of its impact on our ability to help those who need it.”


The Rhode Island State Police Financial Crimes Unit and DLT led the investigation into the cases. Special Assistant Attorney General Carole McLaughlin prosecuted the cases on behalf of the Office of the Attorney General.

President-elect Joe Biden is pushing for a new stimulus package even as he plays coy on if he's spoken to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. A reporter asked Biden if he has spoken to the Kentucky Republican since winning the election. Biden says another round of stimulus checks to families is still in play.       Six million San Francisco residents are being told to stay at home starting this weekend. The order to limit the spread of the coronavirus kicks in when certain regions hit 85-percent capacity in their ICUs. The city is close to that but didn't want to wait. Taking action now speeds up the timeline so the order can end on January 4th.        President Trump wants to withdraw U.S. troops from another country. The Pentagon announced Trump has ordered "the majority of personnel and assets" out of Somalia by early next year. There are roughly 700 troops serving in the African nation, but the Defense Department noted it doesn't change U.S. policy.       A federal judge is ordering the Trump administration to fully restore the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals initiative. The ruling requires the program to be open to new applicants for the first time in three years. A DACA [[ DOCK-uh ]] lawyer told CBS News the ruling provides an opportunity for over one-million immigrant youth to apply and "secure their future" in the U.S.        The massive increase in online shopping for the holidays is having an impact on at least one delivery company. U-P-S is limiting how many packages it can deliver from six retailers, including Nike and Macy's. Macy's says it has added curbside pickup to help.        Some Michigan lawmakers are urging the owner of the Detroit Lions to bring a native son home. They've written a letter to Sheila Ford Hamp and asked her to make 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh the team's next head coach. The 41-year-old Saleh went to Northern Michigan before being hired by the 49ers in 2017.