27 Jul 23

Queens Unemployment Fraud Lawyers

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Last Updated on: 23rd August 2023, 01:06 am

Unemployment fraud is a white-collar crime that can be carried out by both employees and employers. This type of fraud happens when you willingly and knowingly use deceit to collect unemployment benefits. The requirements for receiving this compensation varies from one state to another. In New York, one can receive benefits if they are unemployed, they have had their working hours reduced by half and if they are actively seeking employment. Aiding a misrepresentation for someone else to collect these benefits is also considered a serious crime.

Failure to disclose that you are working when receiving benefits is a serious crime. The problem is not that you are working but the omission of this in your report. If you get work while receiving the payout, you need to communicate this so that the Department of Labor can deduct the claim. Otherwise, this is treated as an over-payment.

Understanding Queens Unemployment Fraud Charges

The State of New York under the New York Department of Labor thoroughly investigates these cases. There is so much pressure to bring these offenders to book. As such, the prosecutions are aggressive. In most cases, you will receive a call from the department if you are under investigation. The call often appears innocent. The state officer will make inquiries about your employment history and the benefits you have received so far. From here, a casual and innocent call can turn into an investigation and a fraud charge.

Other activities constitute unemployment fraud. The most common ones include: collecting benefits under a false name, falsifying your reasons for unemployment, failing to actively seek work opportunities, receiving benefits meant for someone else without their knowledge, actively working while receiving benefits and failure to report all forms of income. If you are charged with any of the above, you stand to face steep fines and possible jail time. The penalties differ based on the money that is fraudulently received.

First Degree Insurance Fraud

The charge is treated as a Class B felony. First-degree fraud applies to people who have deceitfully obtained over $1,000,000 in terms of insurance benefits. This felony carries a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison. The fine amount can be double the amount received in the benefits collected.

Second Degree Insurance Fraud

Second-degree fraud is a Class C felony charge. This is when a person fraudulently receives benefits of an amount of more than $50,000. The penalty for this is a maximum of 15 years in prison and fines of twice the amount received.

Third Degree Insurance Fraud

Third-degree insurance fraud is a Class D felony. A person is charged under this class when they illicitly obtain insurance benefits of more than $3,000. A conviction can attract a prison sentence of 7 years and a fine amount of up to $5,000.

Fourth Degree Insurance Fraud

Fourth-degree fraud is classified as a Class E felony. This happens when a person deceitfully collects insurance benefits of amounts higher than $1,000. The charge can attract a fine of up to twice the amount fraudulently collected.

Fifth Degree Insurance Fraud

Fifth-degree insurance fraud is applied when a person obtains the insurance benefits of less than $1,000. This is a Class A misdemeanor. A conviction can attract a fine of $1,000 or up to one year in jail.

Aggravated Insurance Fraud

Aggravated fraud applies to repeat offenders. This is a Class D felony and attracts hefty fines and long prison sentences depending on the amounts in question.

Consult with a Queens Unemployment Fraud Lawyer

You need to protect yourself if you are investigated, charged or given notice of over-payment. The best way to do this is to consult with a lawyer immediately. The lawyer will come up with a defense strategy. This begins by assessing the merits of the case and evidence presented against you.

Unemployment fraud is a complex discipline of law. It is ill-advised to attempt to defend yourself. You need an experienced lawyer who understands the system. This gives them a unique advantage in your case. For starters, they understand how the law works and the possible defenses applicable in your case. These lawyers also have extensive court experience and can battle the case against an aggressive prosecutor.

Don’t deal with Queens Unemployment Fraud Lawyers alone. Speak to the Spodek Law Group today.

An unemployment fraud charge can have serious ramifications, including fines and jailtime. If you’re facing an unemployment fraud case, the severity will vary with the amount that you’re alleged to have taken fraudulently, but an experienced Queens unemployment fraud lawyer can make a big difference for you.

This guide will cover how unemployment in New York works, what would be considered unemployment fraud and how you could fight fraud charges.

The New York Unemployment Process

The New York Department of Labor issues unemployment insurance benefits to residents who are out of work, provided they meet certain requirements. To quality for unemployment, you must have worked a minimum amount and lost your job through no fault of your own.

To get unemployment insurance benefits, you need to apply with the Department of Labor and explain why you no longer have a job. The Department of Labor may check with your previous employer to verify the information you provide. After your application gets approved, you’re responsible for submitting claim forms, either online or by mail, to the Department of Labor every two weeks. That claim form will ask you several questions related to your work situation, including if you could have worked during the periods the claims form covers, if you have been actively looking for work, if you worked during that period and, if so, the amount of money you made from that work.

What Constitutes Unemployment Fraud

The crime of unemployment fraud can apply to many different actions, but what it all boils down to is using false info to get unemployment benefits. There are several stages during the unemployment process when you could do this.

There’s the application process for unemployment benefits. Examples of unemployment fraud here would include lying about how you lost your job, such as claiming to have been laid off when you actually were fired for not showing up to work multiple times, or lying about your pay to obtain a higher benefit amount.

There’s also the claim forms you fill out to get your unemployment benefits. Any false info on these is also unemployment fraud. One of the most common examples with claim forms is working without recording it on the claim form, especially if it’s under-the-table work. You’re supposed to record how much money you made so that the Department of Labor can deduct that amount from your benefits.

As a condition of your unemployment benefits, you must be ready to work and actively searching for it. Even though you typically don’t need to send in records of your job searches, you are supposed to record them, as the Department of Labor may ask for them. Stating on your claim form that you were looking for work when you really weren’t or that you could have worked when you weren’t able to are both instances of fraud.

Defending Yourself Against Unemployment Fraud Charges

If you’re convicted of unemployment fraud, you could be in line for some severe penalties. You’ll need to pay back those benefits with extra fines attached, and there could also be a jail sentence, although this is less likely. You may not be able to ever apply for unemployment benefits again.

The smart move here is to hire a Queens unemployment fraud lawyer who can evaluate your case and recommend the best defense strategy. We have lawyers available to start working on your case immediately. They can analyze any evidence against you, consider plea deal options and represent you in court, if it comes to that.