Pawtucket man pleads to stealing benefits while in jail

Pawtucket man pleads to stealing benefits while in jail

Pawtucket resident Patrick O’Sullivan, 45, pleaded no contest Tuesday before Superior Court Magistrate Patrick Burke to one count of obtaining money under false pretenses for collecting more than $11,000 in unemployment insurance benefits while he was jailed at the Norfolk County Correctional facility in Massachusetts.

Under the terms of the plea, O’Sullivan was sentenced to eight years with one year to serve on home confinement and the remainder suspended with probation, and was ordered to pay $11,905 in restitution at a rate of no less than $130 per month.

Had the case proceeded to trial, prosecutors say they were prepared to prove that between Jan. 23, 2010 and Sept. 7, 2012, the defendant collected unemployment insurance benefits to which he was not entitled due to his incarceration. He did so during two separate jail stints totaling six months.

“Collecting unemployment insurance benefits while incarcerated is an absolute outrage and is the kind of criminal behavior that leads to cynicism by taxpayers,” said Attorney Gen. Peter Kilmartin in a statement. “That said, the public should feel confident knowing there are checks in place to identify, investigate, and prosecute those who attempt to abuse the system.”

The case was initiated by Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training fraud investigators and then referred to the Rhode Island State Police where the investigation was led Corporal David Gormley and Trooper Mathew Lynch. Special Assistant Attorney Gen. Carole McLaughlin prosecuted the case on behalf of the Office of Attorney General.