Kathleen G. Kane - Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General - Protecting Pennsylvanians

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April 7, 2011

Lancaster County man charged with insurance fraud after allegedly collecting more than $13,000 in fraudulent unemployment benefits4-7-11_Patrick Higgins

HARRISBURG ? A Lancaster County man was charged following allegations that he fraudulently collected more than $13,000 in unemployment benefits.

Acting Attorney General Bill Ryan identified the defendant as Patrick Higgins, 54, 135 Mallard Drive, Lancaster.

Ryan said that during an investigation into suspected workers? compensation fraud, investigators discovered evidence that Higgins collected approximately $13,120 in unemployment compensation benefits while he was employed.

According to the criminal complaint, during the time Higgins claimed to be unemployed he allegedly was hired as a full-time Restaurant Manager at the Park City Mall Burger King, in Lancaster.

Investigators allege that during his employment with Burger King Higgins continued to collect unemployment checks from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Higgins is charged with one count of theft by deception, a third degree felony which carries a maximum penalty of seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine.

Higgins was preliminarily arraigned yesterday before Oxford Magisterial District Judge Harry Farmer and lodged in the Chester County Prison in lieu of $25,000 bail.

He will be prosecuted in Chester County by Senior Deputy Attorney General Mark Bellavia of the Attorney General?s Insurance Fraud Section.

(A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty.)

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