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Split Verdict in Long Beach Councilman’s Theft Case
A Long Beach City councilman has been convicted of receiving unemployment benefits that he was not entitled to, although a Nassau County jury was unable to reach a verdict on some charges.
Michael Fagen was found guilty Tuesday of petit larceny and 10 counts of offering a false instrument for filing. Jurors were undecided on charges of grand larceny and 20 other counts of offering a false instrument for filing.
Prosecutors said the 56-year-old Democratic councilman received $405 weekly in New York State Unemployment Insurance Benefits despite his earning $19,828 annually upon his January 2010 inauguration.
Fagen didn’t disclose to the state Department of Labor his employment with the city or as a salesman for a hotel membership benefits company while he received unemployment benefits. He falsely claimed to be unemployed.
His defense attorney argued that Fagen was set up by his Republican political rivals.
The councilman faces up to four years in prison when he is sentenced on April. His attorney reportedly plans to appeal the decision.