By Ben Fractenberg
MANHATTAN — 15 current and former public employees have been arrested for defrauding the city out of nearly $80,000 after allegedly receiving unemployment benefits while working for city agencies.
The workers reportedly each got between $3,107 and $14,432 in unemployment starting as early as 2008.
"In this economy, unemployment benefits are essential to the families of New Yorkers who have been laid off or find themselves in between jobs," Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. said in a statement. "By fraudulently accepting unemployment benefits while working for the City of New York, these defendants violated the public trust."
Three of the alleged defrauders are from Manhattan, according to the Department of Investigation.
William Lennon, 51, is charged with receiving $6,974 in benefits between August 2009 and February 2010 while working for the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
John Black, 54, allegedly got $6,242 in unemployment between November 2009 and May 2010 while working for the Human Recourses Administration and the Department of Parks and Recreation.
And Esther Camacho, 55, is charged with getting $3,798 in benefits between September 2009 and February 2010 while working as a school crossing guard.
All 15 defendants are charged with third degree grand larceny and face up to seven years in jail.