Haverstraw man arrested for unemployment benefits scam

Ramon Delacruz
Ramon Delacruz
HAVERSTRAW – A local man has been arrested and charged with an unemployment benefits scam which reaped hundreds of thousands in ill-gotten gains for out-of-country beneficiaries within the past four years.

Ramon Delacruz, 36, was arrested early Monday morning by authorities with the Rockland County District Attorney’s Office’s Special Investigation Unit, the New York State Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. A search warrant was also executed at his 41 Rela Avenue home.

The suspect allegedly began the scam in 2011 when he began to apply for and receive benefits on behalf of 10 individuals living outside of the United States. By 2015, the accumulated unemployment payouts totaled over $100,000.

“This defendant is accused of scamming the system by helping several people living abroad illegally collect unemployment benefits,” District Attorney Thomas Zugibe stated in a release. “Fraud against the employer-funded Unemployment Insurance benefits program costs all of us and will not be tolerated.”

Delacruz was charged with second-degree grand larceny, a class “C” felony, and remanded to the custody of the Rockland County Jail on $10,000 bail. He is expected back in court on March 27.