Department of Labor & Workforce Development

12 Charged with Theft by Deception for Falsely Claiming Unemployment Benefits While Working


December 4, 2019

TRENTON – Twelve current or former employees of an international manufacturing company were charged with theft by deception after a joint investigation found they had claimed more than $375,000 in New Jersey unemployment insurance benefits while working.

“This egregious act of theft has targeted the critical funds set aside to help the citizens of our state when they are at their most vulnerable,” said Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo. “We hope this action will serve as a reminder to everyone that we take these cases seriously, and we will continue to work with law enforcement to uncover and prosecute every instance of fraud to the fullest extent under the law.”

Investigators from the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL), as well as the New Jersey Division on Criminal Justice, and the Office of the Inspector General led to the discovery that Lawrence Barnes, 59, of Trenton; Lisa Conway, 52 of Trenton; Anthony Davis, 52, of Trenton; Elijah Dolo, 39, of Trenton; Kevin Forrest, 46, of Ewing; Catalina Henry, 43, of Trenton; Durand Morrow, 42, of Trenton; Madeline Morrow, 45, of Trenton; Fitzgerald Roberts, 31, of Hamilton; Milton Shaffa, 39, of Trenton; Madeline Torres, 44, of Burlington; and Torwon Wonokay, 41, of Morrisville, PA, were continuing to certify unemployment benefits while gainfully employed, following a temporary layoff.

To report suspected fraud, visit nj.gov/labor.

The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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