Former Fort Johnson resident gets prison for unemployment lie
SCHENECTADY A second-time felony offender will spend 1 1⁄2 to three years in prison for lying to obtain unemployment benefits.
Harold Wooster, 51, formerly of Fort Johnson, was sentenced Wednesday in Schenectady County Court on a previous guilty plea to the charge of falsifying business records. He submitted documents to the state Department of Labor saying that he wasn’t employed from September 2010 to November 2011, when in fact he worked in the construction field during that time, according to Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Assini.
Wooster received $6,200 in unemployment benefits to which he was not entitled.
This is his second felony offense. He had pleaded guilty in 2008 to felony driving while intoxicated for an incident that March in the town of Amsterdam. He was sentenced to five years of probation, placed in the drug court program and ordered to pay a $2,000 fine in that case.
Judge Karen Drago admonished Wooster, saying he needed to get his drinking problem under control with the skills he learned in the drug court.
“You’ve got the tools. It’s a matter of making the commitment that you’re going to use them each and every day for the rest of your life,” she said.
Wooster must also make restitution to the Department of Labor.
Also in Schenectady County Court, Drago sentenced Carlos Matos of Schenectady to 21⁄2 years in jail with one year of post-release supervision. He had pleaded guilty in February 2011 to a reduced count of fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance for an incident on Dec. 14, 2010, when he was arrested for possessing and selling cocaine on Jerry Street.
He was sentenced to participate in the drug court but was expelled when he violated a rule that prohibits participants from traveling outside the county without prior permission.