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General Laws

Section 47. Any person who knowingly makes any false or misleading statement, representation or submission or knowingly assists, abets, solicits or conspires in the making of any false or misleading statement, representation or submission in order to maintain, obtain, or increase benefits under this chapter for himself or any other individual, or who knowingly conceals or fails to disclose a material fact in order to maintain, obtain or increase benefits under this chapter for himself or for any other individual shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than five years or by imprisonment in jail for not less than six months nor more than two and one-half years or by a fine of not less than one thousand nor more than ten thousand dollars, or by both such fine and imprisonment. Each false or misleading statement, representation, or submission and each failure to disclose or concealment shall constitute a separate offense.

Any person who provides the department with a false identification or misrepresents his identity in connection with any claim or attempt to make a claim for benefits under this chapter for himself or any other individual shall be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred nor more than one thousand dollars, or by imprisonment for not more than six months, or both.

Any employing unit which or any officer or agent of an employing unit who willfully attempts in any manner to evade or defeat any contribution or payment in lieu of contribution or who knowingly makes a false statement or misrepresentation to avoid or reduce any contribution, payment in lieu of contribution, interest charge or benefit payment required of such employing unit under any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a felony and upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not less than ten thousand nor more than fifty thousand dollars, or by imprisonment for not more than five years, or both such fine and imprisonment. Each such attempt to evade or defeat and each such false statement or misrepresentation shall constitute a separate and distinct offense.

Any employing unit which, or any officer or agent of any employing unit who, knowingly fails or refuses to pay any such benefit, contribution, payment in lieu of contribution or interest charge, or to furnish any report or information duly required by the commissioner under any provision of this chapter, or makes or requires any deduction from wages to pay any portion of the contributions, payments in lieu of contributions or interest charges required from employers under any provision of this chapter, or attempts by threats or coercion of any kind to induce any individual to waive any rights under any provision of this chapter, or attempts by threats or coercion of any kind to prevent any individual from testifying at any hearing conducted under any provision of this chapter, shall be punished by a fine of not less than two thousand five hundred nor more than ten thousand dollars, or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both such fine and imprisonment. Each such failure or refusal to pay, each such deduction from wages and each such attempt to coerce shall constitute a separate and distinct offense.

Any person, as defined in section 14N, or officer or agent of the person, who knowingly violates or attempts to violate subsections (a) or (b) of section 14N or any other provision of this chapter related to determining the assignment of a contribution rate or if a person knowingly advises another person in a way that results in a violation or attempted violation of the provisions shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 5 years or by imprisonment in jail for not less than 6 months nor more than 2 1/2 years or by a fine of not less than $5,000 nor more than $50,000, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

Whoever willfully corrupts or by force or threat of force, including any threatening letter or communication, endeavors to intimidate or impede an officer or employee of the commonwealth acting in an official capacity under this chapter, or in any other way corrupts by force or threat of force, including any threatening letter or communication, obstructs or impedes, or endeavors to obstruct or impede, the due administration of this chapter, shall be punished by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars, or by imprisonment for not more than three years, or both such fine and imprisonment, except that if the offense is committed only by threat of force, shall be punished by a fine of not more than three thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both such fine and imprisonment. The term “threat of force”, as used in this subsection, means threat of bodily harm to the officer or employee of the commonwealth or to a member of the officer’s or employee’s family.

If such employing unit or the employer of such officer or agent is a corporation, the president, secretary and the treasurer, or officers exercising corresponding functions, shall each be subject to the aforesaid penalties for any violation of any provision of this section, of which they, respectively, had knowledge, or, in the proper exercise of their duties ought to have had knowledge. The introduction into evidence of a certified copy of the annual report of condition or, where no report has been filed, the articles of organization shall be prima facie evidence that the officers listed on the annual report of condition or, where applicable the articles of organization, are the officers of the corporation responsible for violation of any provision of this section.

Any person convicted of a violation of any provision of this chapter or of a violation of any order, rule or regulation of the commissioner or of the department made under the authority of any provision of this chapter, the punishment for which is not otherwise provided, shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars for the first offense, and, for any subsequent offense within a period of two years immediately following a final conviction of a like offense by a court of the commonwealth, shall be punished by a fine of not less than two hundred nor more than five hundred dollars, or by imprisonment for not more than two years, or both such fine and imprisonment.

Any person found guilty of violating any provision of this chapter, in addition to any other punishment, may be ordered to make restitution to the department of employment and training in an amount not to exceed the amount specified in the complaint of the commonwealth plus any amounts which have accrued under this chapter since filing of the complaint.

Complaint against any person for a violation of any provision of this section shall be made within six years after the date of such violation. All fines collected under this section shall be paid to the commissioner and after clearance shall be deposited in the Contingent Fund.

On or before October 15 of the first year, the department shall file with the house and senate committees on ways and means and the clerks of the house of representatives and the senate and the joint committee on commerce and labor a report which shall contain a comprehensive evaluation of the effectiveness of collections and payments authorized by section 15, subsection (a) of section 47, section 58 and section 69D including, but not limited to, the total amount of monies collected and deposited into the contingent fund pursuant to those sections.

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