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.

More Americans voted in this presidential election than ever before with nearly 154-million votes counted. President-elect Joe Biden is the first candidate to earn more than 80-million votes in a national election. Meantime, President Trump is the only other candidate to get more than 70-million votes.        Dr. Anthony Fauci [[ FOW-chee ]] says he has not met with President-elect Joe Biden yet. Speaking on "Good Morning America," the nation's top expert on infectious diseases said he has meet with a member of Biden's transition team. However, Fauci said "nothing substantive" came out of the conversation.        The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is changing its guidance on contact tracing. The CDC used to recommend contact tracers track all COVID-19 cases back to their source. But now officials say state health departments are advised to run contact traces on cases fewer than six days old and on people who have a high risk of infecting others.       Georgia's secretary of state is accusing President Trump of throwing him under the bus. In an op-ed for USA Today, Brad Raffensperger said he and his family voted for and donated to President Trump's Campaign. This came after Trump called Raffensperger a "so-called Republican" for not allowing his team to look at signatures on mail-in voter envelopes, claiming they would find substantial election fraud.       Two women are settling their discrimination lawsuit after they were detained at the US-Canadian border because they were speaking Spanish. Ana Suda and Martha "Mimi" Hernandez say Customs and Border Protection agents detained them outside a Montana convenience store for 40 minutes in May 2018. A video of the incident shows an agent telling them Spanish is "very unheard of up here."       Publisher Penguin Random House is reportedly planning to buy Simon and Schuster from ViacomCBS for nearly two-point-two-billion-dollars. Penguin Random House is the nation's largest publisher and Simon and Schuster is the nation's third largest publisher. The deal may raise some antitrust concerns because Random House is owned by a German media conglomerate.