New HampshireDepartment of JusticeOffice of the Attorney General

News Release

For Immediate Release
January 24, 2023

Contact:
Michael S. Garrity, Director of Communications
michael.s.garrity@doj.nh.gov | (603) 931-9375

Richard J. Lavers, Deputy Commissioner
Department of Employment Security
(603) 228-4064

Lissa D. Mascio, Unemployment Fraud Prosecutor
(603) 271-1296

State of New Hampshire v. Ernest J. Gray

Concord, NH – Attorney General John M. Formella and Department of Employment Security Commissioner George Copadis announce that Ernest J. Gray of, or formerly of, Port Orange, Florida was indicted on January 20, 2023 in Carroll County Superior Court, on one count of unemployment compensation fraud, a class A felony, and one count of attempted unemployment compensation fraud, also a class A felony.

The State alleges that over the course of 50 weeks, between March 21, 2020 and March 13, 2021, Mr. Gray knowingly failed to disclose his employment and earnings to the Department of Employment Security in order to obtain or increase his unemployment compensation benefits. That being, Gray submitted a weekly continued claim form 50 times, 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 further failed to report the hours he did work and wages he earned. As a result, Mr. Gray received 50 weeks of unemployment benefits totaling $33,400.00 in unemployment compensation benefits, including enhanced federal benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic, to which he was not entitled.

The State further alleges that during two of the weeks in benefit year ending March 13, 2021 (weeks ending September 19, 2020 and December 26, 2020), and over the course of 12 weeks in a second benefit year, between March 20, 2021 and June 5, 2021, Mr. Gray knowingly failed to disclose his full-time employment and earnings to the Department of Employment Security in an attempt to obtain or increase his unemployment compensation benefits. That being, Gray submitted a weekly continued claim form 14 times, 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 further failed to report the hours he did work and wages he earned. But for the intervention of the Department, in stopping his benefit payments due to systemic review measures or natural exhaustion of benefits programs, Mr. Gray would have received an additional $7,332.00 in unemployment compensation benefits, including enhanced federal benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic, to which he was not entitled.

The charges and allegations set forth in the indictment are merely accusations, and Mr. Gray is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. Mr. Gray will be arraigned on the charges in Carroll County Superior Court on February 16, 2023.

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.

New Hampshire Department of Justice
33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301
Telephone: 603-271-3658