NY RCA pleads guilty to unemployment benefit fraud

BUFFALO, N.Y. – U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Kathleen Cordero, 48, of Lockport, N.Y., pleaded guilty to theft of government funds.

The charge carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison, a fine of $100,000 or both. Assistant U.S. Attorney Russell T. Ippolito, Jr., who is handling the case, stated that Cordero, a rural carrier associate for the United States Postal Service, collected unemployment insurance benefits for which she was not entitled. Between July 11, 2010, and May 13, 2012, the defendant failed to report income earned from the U.S. Postal Service in order to qualify for and receive unemployment insurance benefits to which she was otherwise not entitled. In total, Cordero stole $5,662.75 in unemployment insurance benefits from the U.S. Postal Service.

The plea is the result of an investigation by the United States Postal Service, Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Robert Lapina, the United States Department of Labor, Officer of Inspector General, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Robert L. Panella, New York Region and the New York State Department of Labor, under the direction of Commissioner Peter M. Rivera.

Sentencing is scheduled for February 1, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. before Judge Scott.