SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

March 29, 2014

Beverly man charged with unemployment fraud

BEVERLY — A Beverly man was indicted Thursday on charges that he fraudulently collected unemployment compensation for more than a year while actually holding down a job, prosecutors said yesterday.

Lawrence Burns Jr., 57, of Beverly, is facing 58 counts of unemployment fraud and felony larceny in the indictments handed up by a Suffolk County grand jury.

The state’s Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development discovered in the course of an investigation that Burns had earned more than $44,000 that he did not report to the Division of Unemployment Assistance between December 2009 and January 2011.

During that 58-week period, officials say, Burns also collected $26,000 in unemployment benefits.

Burns will be summonsed to appear in Suffolk Superior Court for arraignment on April 28, said a spokesman for the Attorney General’s office.

“Unemployment fraud puts a strain on the system, and the detection, investigation and prosecution of these crimes are important to deter fraud and return these funds back to the commonwealth,” said Attorney General Martha Coakley.

A second person, a woman from Halifax, was also indicted Thursday on similar charges, officials said.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at jmanganis@salemnews.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.

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