- Associated Press - Friday, December 2, 2016

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - A southern New Jersey woman has been sentenced to seven years in prison for receiving more than $300,000 in illegal unemployment benefits.

Erica Rivera had pleaded guilty in September to theft by deception.

Attorney General Chris Porrino said Friday the 35-year-old Beachwood resident admitted that between 2012 and 2015, she filed false online applications for unemployment benefits using names of people who allegedly had worked for her tax preparation business.

In reality, Rivera used personal identifying information of unwitting relatives, friends and her former clients to file the bogus claims.

The attorney general’s office estimates Rivera collected 521 benefit payments totaling more than $345,000. She will be required to pay restitution in that amount.

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