AUGUSTA — Maine’s labor department says an Aroostook County man has been convicted of fraudulently collecting unemployment insurance benefits while he was employed.

The Department of Labor said on Wednesday that Edward Spence of Perham was convicted for unemployment fraud on Tuesday. He’s to serve 10 months of a four-year sentence and will have three years of probation.

Department spokeswoman Julie Rabinowitz says Spence fraudulently collected about $14,000 in unemployment benefits, which will have to be paid back as restitution.

Fraudulently collecting unemployment benefits for amounts $1,000 or more is considered a felony under Maine law.

This year, the department referred 83 unemployment fraud cases to district attorneys. The department says that so far claimants in nine of those cases have either plead guilty or been found guilty after a trail.


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