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.

The General Services Administration will begin the formal transition process with Joe Biden. The GSA chief sent a letter to the President-elect informing him that she made up her own mind. Despite not feeling pressure from the White House, Emily Murphy said she has received threats online, by phone and by mail. President Trump referred to the notice on Twitter, saying her decision was his recommendation.       Former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is reportedly President-elect Joe Biden's choice for Treasury Secretary. The 74-year-old Yellen would be the first woman to run the Treasury Department. She was nominated by President Obama to run the Federal Reserve and served as Fed Chair from 2014-2018.        Nursing homes in the U.S. continue to see a record number of new COVID-19 cases this month due to community spread among the general population. According to Johns Hopkins University, new cases of coronavirus in nursing homes grew more than 110-percent between mid-September and November 8th. Residents of long-term care facilities account for only eight-percent of the nation's cases but forty-percent of its deaths.       Elon Musk is the second-richest person on the planet. The Bloomberg Billionaires Index shows the Tesla founder has passed Bill Gates with a net worth of 127-point-nine-billion dollars. Bloomberg notes Musk added over 100-billion dollars to his net worth this year. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is still number one with roughly 182-billion dollars in net worth.        Content creators can now earn up to a million dollars on Snapchat. The app company launched a new initiative for creators called Snapchat Spotlight and will pay them for the most-viewed daily video posts. The new feature will show users a stream of publicly submitted posts surfaced based on personalized content algorithms.       The staff at an Ohio restaurant was shocked when a customer left a three-thousand dollar tip on one beer. The location temporarily shut down last night due to surging coronavirus cases. But just before the doors closed, a customer ordered a beer at the bar. He took two sips, signed his check and put it down next to the owner, telling him to share with the staff.