Providence Man Convicted Of Unemployment Fraud

Rachel Nunes
·1 min read

CRANSTON, RI — A Providence man was ordered to pay back nearly $20,000 in unemployment benefits from the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training after admitting to obtaining the benefits under false pretenses.

Christopher Berarducci, 49, pleaded no contest to one count of obtaining money under false pretenses over $1,500 and one count of fraudulent access to a computer system on Wednesday, and was ordered to repay $19,824 to the state and given a five-year suspended sentence.

According to Attorney General Peter Neronha's office, Berarducci collected unemployment benefits from Oct. 2017 to May 2019, failing to report his income from the construction industry.

"Regardless of circumstances, when individuals collect benefits that they aren’t entitled to, they reduce the amount of benefits that are available to Rhode Islanders who really need them," Neronha said. "The strain that the COVID-19 pandemic has placed upon our state’s unemployment insurance benefit system has heightened the public’s awareness of how critical that program is. Holding those accountable who attempt to cheat the system is important because of the negative impact that conduct has on our state’s ability to help those who need it."

This article originally appeared on the Cranston Patch