Former Westport resident Ralph Hymans, who served three terms on the town's legislative body, the Representative Town Meeting, faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for illegally receiving more than $300,000 in unemployment benefits.
On Thursday, Hymans, 87, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Mark Kravitz in federal court in New Haven to one count of mail fraud stemming from a long-term scheme in which he fraudulently received $312,804 in unemployment benefits from the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. attorney’s office reported.
Over the course of 14 years, Hymans collected unemployment benefits to which he was not entitled by filing multiple claims for unemployment insurance. In the scheme, he claimed he worked for Monroe Management for a portion of the year, usually three quarters, and then filed unemployment insurance claims against those wages the following year.
Hymans served on the Representative Town Meeting from 1991 to 1993, 1995 to 1999 and 2005 to 2007. From the time he filed his first claim in January 1995 through April 2009, he received compensation for a portion of each year, usually for about eight months. His sentencing hearing has been scheduled for June 14.