Ex-state employee sentenced for stealing government funds

By: The Associated Press


PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A former Rhode Island state employee has been sentenced to federal prison for altering computer files to steal more than $500,000 in benefits from the state’s unemployment insurance system.

The U.S. attorney’s office says Ambulai Sheku was sentenced to 21 months on Monday. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy, theft of government funds and accessing a protected computer to commit fraud.

Authorities say the 37-year-old Sheku used his position as an interviewer with the Department of Labor and Training to access computer files and illegally obtain unemployment benefits for himself and others.

About $350,000 of the more than $500,000 in benefits that Sheku fraudulently obtained from June 2009 until early 2015 were funded by the federal government.

Sheku was sentenced to pay $486,366 in restitution.

The DLT tightened its security measures.

© WLNE-TV / ABC6 2017