Employees could lose their jobs for unavoidable reasons, leaving them with bills that do not go away when an employment situation changes. Those who qualify for unemployment benefits may apply for them, and they must follow the rules stipulated under New York law. Anyone who attempts to cheat the system through fraudulent actions could face severe consequences.
Fraud and unemployment benefits
Honesty counts when applying for state unemployment benefits. Lying to a state agency or otherwise attempting to deceive authorities to procure unemployment benefits illegally might result in criminal charges. Claiming not to have work when job offers continue to roll in could lead to prison time. Depending on the facts surrounding the, someone guilty of unemployment compensation fraud may face anywhere from 90 days in jail to five years in prison for each offense. The court could levy monetary fines as well.
Generally, persons accused of blatant and widescale fraud would likely face the harshest penalties. Some people make mistakes and collect benefits they do not deserve. These individuals might face requirements to repay what they owe the state. Persons financially struggling may find themselves repaying their debts with a payment plan.
Straightening out problems with unemployment benefits
A worker who lost his or her job may seek unemployment benefits for the first time. Unfamiliarity with the process could lead to mistakes, which, in turn, might result in possible financial fraud charges. Even if an investigation does not lead to an indictment, a laid-off worker might deal with the stress of dealing with law enforcement.
Anyone facing an investigation may invoke the right to remain silent. Speaking to investigators without the assistance of an attorney could lead to legal problems for someone who intends to “straighten things out.”
Even when someone faces official fraud charges, the prosecution’s case could still be a weak one. Criminal charges require proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecutor cannot build a strong case and convince the jury to that degree, an acquittal may result.