- Associated Press - Thursday, April 9, 2015

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Jurors have convicted a New Jersey man of collecting nearly $16,000 in unemployment while he was behind bars.

The jury in Cumberland County found 63-year-old Bruce Garrett of Vineland guilty of theft by deception.

Prosecutors say Garrett collected $15,768 in jobless benefits over six months in 2009 while serving a sentence in the Cumberland County Jail for driving while intoxicated. Prosecutors say fraudulent certifications that Garrett was available to go to work were submitted for him online or over the phone.

The state Labor Department caught the fraud by cross-checking the state’s list of jail inmates.

Garrett faces up to three years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines when he’s sentenced in May.

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