Wareham man charged with fraudulently collecting unemployment

AG: Four people charged with collecting more than $79,000

A Wareham man has been charged with fraudulently collecting more than $20,000 in unemployment benefits. According to Attorney General Maura Healey's Office, four Massachusetts residents are accused of collecting a combined $79,000 in benefits.

A Suffolk County Grand Jury returned indictments against three of the four.  Adam J. Zalgenas, 39, of Wareham was charged with 33 counts of unemployment fraud and one count of larceny over $250. An investigation conducted by the AG's Office and the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development's Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) revealed that Zalgenas worked for TruGreen as a landscaper and groundskeeper while receiving unemployment benefits, the release said. 

For a period of 33 weeks, Zalgenas failed to report earnings to DUA and certified that he did not work and had no earnings during that period. In all, Zalgenas collected $22,352 in unemployment benefits from the state. 

"If we turn a blind eye to abuse and fraud like this, we won't have the funds for those who truly deserve benefits," DUA Director Robert Cunningham said. The AG's Office began an investigation into Zelgenas and the other three when the cases were referred by DUA.

"We allege that these defendants unlawfully collected unemployment benefits from the state, taking away funds from those who need it," said AG Healey.

Zelgenas and two others, Isaasha Greenidge of Dorchester and Ryan Clark of Worcester, were all indicted Thursday by a Suffolk County Grand Jury. A complaint against the fourth defendent, Joaquina Reynoso of Lawrence was taken out in Boston Municipal Court. Zelgenas, Greenidge and Clark will be arrainged in Suffolk Superior Court on February 19. Reynosa will be arraigned in Boston Municipal Court on February 18.

Assistant Attorneys Geoffrey Wood and Anuj Khetarpal of the AG Office's Insurance and Unemployment Fraud Unit are prosecuting the cases.

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