Nashua man pleads guilty to wrongfully receiving $29K in unemployment, pandemic benefits
Sean Hendricks agrees to plea deal in unemployment compensation fraud case
Nashua resident Sean Hendricks has reached a plea deal with prosecutors in his unemployment compensation fraud case that spares him jail time, but he must pay back $28,800 he wrongfully received plus an additional $5,500 in penalties, according to state Employment Security Commissioner George Copadis.
The charge, a Class A felony, accuses Hendricks of “knowingly failing to disclose his employment and earnings” to the state “in order to obtain, or increase, his unemployment compensation benefits,” Copadis and Attorney General John Formella said in a joint statement.
The sentence Hendricks and prosecutors agreed on imposes a 12-month term in jail, with six months deferred for 15 months, then suspended for an additional four years.
The sentence is conditioned upon good behavior, the payment totaling $34,564 in restitution and penalties, and disqualification from receiving unemployment compensation benefits for one year.
According to the complaint, Hendricks submitted a weekly continued claim form on 46 occasions between Jan. 6, 2020 and Jan. 2, 2021, on which he answered “no” to the question: “Last week, did you work or perform services? This includes starting a new job, working part-time employment, or working for yourself, regardless of whether you have received payment.”
By answering “no,” Hendricks fraudulently received unemployment benefits, including enhanced federal unemployment benefits that stemmed from the pandemic.
In their joint statement, Copadis and Formella said the purpose of the Department of Employment Security is to provide unemployment compensation benefits “to eligible claimants who are unemployed through no fault of their own.
“The department investigates and prosecutes both criminal and civil unemployment compensation fraud with the goal of protecting New Hampshire’s unemployment compensation trust fund.”
To report possible unemployment fraud, call 800-852-3400, ext. 84016, or use the online form that can be found at www.business.nh.gov.
Dean Shalhoup may be reached at 594-1256 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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