TRENTON, N.J. — Authorities say a New Jersey woman has admitted under a plea deal she fraudulently collected more than $345,000 in unemployment benefits over a nearly three-year period.
Prosecutors say Erica Rivera pleaded guilty to theft by deception on Monday.
State Attorney General Christopher Porrino says the 35-year-old Beachwood woman filed online benefits applications for 24 people from her former tax-preparation business — none of whom had ever worked for her — and received 27 unemployment insurance claims.
Previous clients and relatives were among those she had filed for.
Authorities say the thefts happened from September 2012 to June 2015. Surveillance cameras showed her using debit cards associated with the false claims at ATMs in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C.
Prosecutors are recommending she be sentenced to eight years in prison.