Attorney General officials announced that a Cumberland County man was indicted for allegedly stealing a total of $96,437 from New Jersey’s unemployment insurance trust fund.
Officials said Mr. Brian Peyton, 50, of Vineland, was indicted on Friday, February 12, by a state grand jury on a charge of second-degree theft by deception. It is alleged that he knowingly filed multiple claims for unemployment insurance between July 2010 and January 2017, despite the fact that he was employed throughout that time period and not eligible to receive unemployment benefits.
According to officials, as a result of the alleged fraudulent claims, a total of $96,437 in unemployment benefits were direct-deposited into his personal bank account.
The indictment is the result of a cooperative investigation by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, the U.S. Department of Labor-Office of Inspector General (U.S. DOL-OIG), and the Division of Criminal Justice Specialized Crimes Bureau.
As part of its vigorous fraud prevention efforts, the state Labor Department routinely shares information with the Division of Criminal Justice.
The state Labor Department uses various tools to prevent fraudulent payments from ever being made and to recover fraudulent payments when they do occur according to officials at the AG’s Office.
This collaborative partnership has saved taxpayers more than $2 billion in the 11 months since COVID-19 drove up unemployment claims to record levels.
Second-degree charges carry a sentence of five to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000. The indictment is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.