Cumberland man convicted of unemployment fraud

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AUGUSTA — John Willis of Cumberland was convicted May 8 of theft by deception after fraudulently receiving unemployment insurance payments, according to a Maine Department of Labor press release.

Willis, 56, worked and collected wages while receiving benefits, according to the release. Sentenced to 48 hours in the Cumberland County Jail, he was also ordered to pay restitution of more than $15,000. He was convicted at the Unified Criminal Docket court in Portland.

Fifteen cases were referred for prosecution in 2012, resulting in five convictions. The department referred 88 cases last year, and so far this year has referred 23 cases.