Bronx Unemployment Fraud Lawyers
Unemployment benefits are intended to help those who are out of work stay on their feet as they search for new jobs. Since many people take advantage of these benefits, the state has been cracking down on unemployment fraud.
If you’re being charged with unemployment fraud or feel like a case is being built against you, it’s important to know how this crime works. Here’s what you need to know and how you can protect yourself against unemployment fraud charges.
What Is Unemployment Fraud?
The New York Department of Labor states that unemployment fraud is any instance where a person receives unemployment insurance benefits by lying. This could be outright providing false information or a lie of omission.
To receive unemployment insurance benefits, you must submit an application with the reason you’re unemployed. If you’re approved, you must be ready and able to work every week, Every week that you submit your request for unemployment benefits, you need to verify to the Department of Labor that you were able to work, and if you worked any hours that week, you must report those hours and wages.
There are many different ways people commit unemployment fraud. False information on an unemployment application is one of them. Let’s say you quit your job. This almost always disqualifies you from receiving unemployment benefits. If you tell the Department of Labor that you were fired and receive benefits because of this, then you’ve committed unemployment fraud. Although the Department of Labor asks your previous employer how your employment ended, there are still situations where people get benefits even though they quit.
Any misinformation or omissions on your unemployment requests would also constitute fraud. For example, if you worked and earned $200 under the table but didn’t list it on your form, that would be fraud. If you’re sick or out of town on a vacation one week but you draw unemployment benefits for that week anyway, then you’ve committed unemployment fraud because you weren’t ready and able to work.
Potential Penalties for Unemployment Fraud
The most common penalty for unemployment fraud is a fine, plus you’ll need to pay back any benefits you received due to fraudulent information.
The penalties you receive will depend on the circumstances of your case, though, and they can be much more severe. Whether the crime is considered a misdemeanor or felony is determined by the amount of money you obtained fraudulently.
In some cases, you could end up with a prison sentence. Another serious consequence of unemployment fraud is that it can disqualify you from receiving any unemployment insurance benefits in the future.
Protecting Yourself from Charges of Unemployment Fraud
With the severe penalties that unemployment fraud can carry, it’s essential to have the best defense possible, and for that, you need an experienced unemployment fraud lawyer. Your lawyer can consider the case against you and see what the smartest course of action is. If the evidence is weak, you may be able to beat the charges. If there is strong evidence of unemployment fraud, your lawyer may be able to negotiate a favorable plea deal with the prosecution and keep your penalties to a minimum. Perhaps instead of jailtime, you could pay a fine and have the charges come off your record through a deferral.
We have Bronx unemployment fraud lawyers who are ready and willing to get started on your case. We can set up your defense and provide you with our best legal representation, whether your case ends up dismissed, settled out of court or going to trial.
May 17, 2018
Spodek Law is a great firm. They are super pragmatic