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Five New Rochelle Men, One Mount Vernon Man Charged with Stealing Unemployment Benefits

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Five New Rochelle Men, One Mount Vernon Man Charged with Stealing Unemployment Benefits

September 15, 2017 - 19:22
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WHITE PLAINS, NY — Six seasonal workers, five from New Rochelle, were arraigned in White Plains City Court on September 14, 2017 and charged with the theft of unemployment benefits.

Federico Martinez, Cesar Martinez and Hector Torres were working at Almstead Tree and Shrub Care located in New Rochelle. Christian Munguia and Alvaro Munguia were working at the Ardsley Country Club in Ardsley-On-Hudson. Armando Escobar was working at AG Williams Painting located in Pelham.

From 2010 to 2016 each of these defendants allegedly claimed unemployment benefits from the New York State Department of Labor by falsely certifying online or having others falsely certifying online that they were present in the country when in fact they were overseas. A person must be present in the United States as an additional eligibility requirement in order to receive unemployment benefits.

Cesar Martinez, 50 years old of New Rochelle, New York was arraigned on a felony complaint charging him with one count of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class “D” Felony, one count of Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class “E” Felony and one count of Offering A False Instrument For Filing in the First Degree, a class “E” Felony.

Armando Escobar, 58 years old of Mount Vernon, New York was arraigned on a felony complaint charging him with one count of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class “D” Felony and one count of Offering A False Instrument For Filing in the First Degree, a class “E” Felony.

Hector Torres-Alcarez, 51 years old, of New Rochelle, New York was arraigned on a felony complaint charging him with one count of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class “D” Felony and one count of Offering A False Instrument For Filing in the First Degree, a class “E” Felony.

Federico Martinez, 56 years old of New Rochelle, New York was arraigned on a felony complaint charging him with one count of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class “D” Felony and one count of Offering A False Instrument For Filing in the First Degree, a class “E” Felony.

Alvaro Munguia, 28 years old New Rochelle, New York was arraigned on a felony complaint charging him with one count of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class “D” Felony and one count of Offering A False Instrument For Filing in the First Degree, a class “E” Felony.

Cristian Munguia, 30 years old of New Rochelle, New York was arraigned on a felony complaint charging him with one count of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class “D” Felony and one count of Offering A False Instrument For Filing in the First Degree, a class “E” Felony.

The New York State Department of Labor’s Office of Special Investigations Unit initiated the investigation and received assistance from the United States Department of Homeland Security and the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office. 

The total amount of unemployment benefits stolen collectively by these defendants was $49,780.00

The defendants pled not guilty.  

They were released on their own recognizance and had to surrender their passports and sign an agreement that they would return to court.

The next court date for Alvaro Munguia and Cristian Munguia is on October 6, 2017. The next court date for Hector Torres-Alcarez and Armando Escobar is on October 12, 2017.  The next court date for Cesar Martinez and Federico Martinez is October 30, 2017.  

Assistant District Attorney Nicole Gamble of the Economic Crimes Bureau is prosecuting the case.