ELLSWORTH — Matthew Foster, district attorney for Hancock and Washington counties, announced Monday that two individuals have been indicted on theft by deception and unemployment fraud charges in the past two months.
Keith Goodrich, 47, of Bar Harbor was indicted on Feb. 5 by a Hancock County grand jury. Goodrich was charged with one count of Class B theft by deception and one count of Class E unemployment fraud.
Over a period of four years, Goodrich is alleged to have fraudulently obtained unemployment insurance benefits in the amount of $18,295. Goodrich obtained these benefits by filing weekly claims while he was working and did not report he was employed on his claims.
Sean Stinson, 43, of Calais was indicated on one count of Class C theft by deception and one count of Class E unemployment fraud by a Washington County grand jury on March 9. Stinson also is alleged to have filed weekly claims for benefits while he was working and did not report that he was employed. Stinson is alleged to have fraudulently obtained $7,882 in unemployment insurance benefits that he was not entitled to receive because he failed to report he was working.
“Unemployment fraud is not a victimless crime,” Foster said. “Unemployment fraud causes business owners to pay more in unemployment insurance tax. That money could be better spent on increased wages, new equipment or building improvements.
“This is a crime that cannot be condoned. Recovery of this money and its return to the Department of Labor Unemployment Trust Fund is beneficial to Downeast employers and employees who legitimately need unemployment benefits. My office will continue to prosecute these crimes that have a direct impact on the taxpayers of Hancock and Washington counties.”
There currently are five additional cases pending before the grand jury in Hancock County and three cases pending before the grand jury in Washington County. These eight cases represent over $60,000 in unemployment fraud. Foster expects the cases to be presented to the grand jury in each county in the coming months.