Manchester man indicted for alleged unemployment fraud

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Concord, NH — Attorney General John M. Formella and Department of Employment Security Commissioner George Copadis announce that Luis J. Avendano of Manchester, New Hampshire was indicted on September 19, 2022, in Hillsborough County Superior Court – Northern District, on two counts of unemployment compensation fraud, a class A felony.

The State alleges that over the course of 54 weeks between June 30, 2015, and July 6, 2019, and an additional 14 weeks between March 14, 2020, and March 6, 2021, Mr. Avendano knowingly failed to disclose the full extent of his employment and earnings to the Department of Employment Security in order to obtain or increase his unemployment compensation benefits. That being, Avendano submitted a weekly continued claim form a total of 68 times over the course of five benefit years, and answered “No” to the question: “Last week, did you work or perform services? This includes just starting a new job, working part-time employment, or working for yourself, regardless of whether you have received payment;” and/or failed to report entirely, or completely the hours he did work and wages he earned. As a result, Mr. Avendano received $27,247.00 in unemployment compensation benefits, including enhanced federal benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic, to which he was not entitled, during weeks when he earned over $47,000.00 in wages.

Mr. Avendano is scheduled for arraignment on October 17, 2022, in Hillsborough County Superior Court – Northern District. The charges and allegations set forth in the indictment are merely accusations, and Mr. Avendano is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The Department of Employment Security provides 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 1-800-852-3400, or use the online form at https://business.nh.gov/NCharge/NHES/default.asp?form_name=InsuranceFraud.

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