Liverpool (WSYR-TV) -- A Liverpool woman who allegedly stole nearly $20,000 by fraudulently filing for unemployment insurance benefits in the names of herself, her three children and her sister, was arrested Friday.
49-year-old Patricia Harrington is now facing several charges, including grand scheme to defraud, forgery, identity theft, falsifying business records and criminal possession of a forged instrument.
The charges stem from a joint investigation in which the NYS Department of Labor’s Major Case Unit discovered unusual account activity coming from Liverpool. Investigators were able to connect her address to five separate claims, all of which they say came from Harrington’s home.
She was also identified on surveillance video making withdrawals from account debit cards, according to the Department of Labor.
Harrington is accused filing the false claims between August 2011 and July 2012, investigators said.
According to the Department of Labor, this isn’t the first time Harrington has been accused of identity theft. Several years ago, Harrington pleaded guilty to similar charges for fraudulently stealing identities in order to acquire federal student loans of more than $130,000.
In that case, Harrington was sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison along with three years of supervised release.
Anyone with information about unemployment insurance fraud should call the Department of Labor's toll-free fraud hotline at (888) 598-2077.