N.J. Men Charged With Cheating State Unemployment Fund

November 18, 2003

Vaughn McKoy, Director, Division of Criminal Justice, announced that two New Jersey men have been charged with reportedly filing false unemployment insurance claims which resulted in the theft of more than $21,100 from the state unemployment insurance program.

According to Director McKoy, the Financial Crimes Bureau obtained State Grand Jury indictments charging Carl Wheeler, 57, of Monmouth County and Theodore Law, 57, of Cumberland County, with two counts of theft by deception (both 3rd degree) and one count of unsworn falsification to authorities (4th degree). If convicted on all three counts, the defendants face up to 111/2 years in state prison and a fine of up to $40,000.

The State Grand Jury indictment alleges that Wheeler filed two separate claims for Unemployment Insurance benefits. Wheeler filed the first claim in May, 1998, collecting on the claim until November of that year. An investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice – Financial Crimes Bureau revealed that between August and October, 1998, Wheeler was employed as a laborer by Williams Construction Services in Morganville, Monmouth County.

The indictment charges that Wheeler filed a second claim in June, 1999 and collected unemployment benefits until December, 1999. The indictment alleges that between July and August, 1999, Wheeler was employed by Patock Construction in Shrewsbury, Monmouth County, again as a laborer. According to the indictment, Wheeler collected a total of $11,268 in unemployment monies to which he was not entitled.

A separate State Grand Jury indictment charged that Law filed for Unemployment Insurance benefits in April, 1998, collecting benefits until November of that year.

An investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice – Major Financial Crimes Bureau reportedly determined that Law worked as a laborer during April and again from June through November, 1998, at Palermo Masonry in Egg Harbor Township, Atlantic County. Law filed a second claim for Unemployment Insurance benefits in November, 1999, and collected benefits until May, 2000, again while employed at Palermo Masonry. The indictment charges that Law collected $9,894 in Unemployment Insurance benefit monies to which he was not entitled.

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