A NY Insurance Fraud Lawyer Explains Unemployment Insurance Fraud
Unemployment benefits are issued through a state and federal partnership designed to provide financial assistance to people who are out-of-work. Unemployment benefits provide necessary income, but there is fraud in the employment insurance program. In fact, federal investigators estimate that fraud related to unemployment insurance costs an estimated $5.6 billion each year.
When you are accused of involvement in employment insurance fraud scams, you could face serious criminal charges. However, to be convicted of an offense, a prosecutor must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. At Bukh Law Firm, PLLC, our attorneys have represented many clients accused of involvement in different types of employment insurance fraud schemes. We have the knowledge necessary to help clients build the strongest defense possible when they’ve been accused of a criminal act of fraud. Give us a call to let us help with your case.
What is Unemployment Insurance Fraud?
The New York State Department of Labor defines unemployment insurance benefits fraud to involve lying to the Department of Labor. Unemployment insurance fraud can involve an individual who makes an inappropriate claim for unemployment insurance. Someone who is not entitled to benefits may provide false information on an application. These simple fraud schemes are generally handled on a state level.
CNN also reported on large-scale identity theft rings that are involved with employment insurance fraud. These more complex criminal acts involve obtaining someone else’s identity and filing false claims for unemployment benefits. States are subject to federal mandates requiring unemployment claims begin paying out within just a few weeks of the claim being made. This means that the states may be required to pay out claims within a few weeks, even if employers have not yet responded to confirm that the individual whose name the claim is being made under is actually unemployed.
Those who participate in these unemployment insurance fraud scams are sometimes able to obtain thousands or millions of dollars by making claims under other identities. While some states are implementing better technologies to prevent fraud, fraud remains hard to detect and scams continue to operate.
Types of Unemployment Insurance fraud
There are many different types of employment insurance fraud that could result in criminal charges. The Department of Labor indicates that fraud schemes includes:
- Providing inaccurate information on a benefits application, or failing to disclose information including the reason for your termination.
- Working while collecting unemployment benefits without accurately reporting your income or days worked.
- Earning $420 or more from an employer over the week while collecting unemployment benefits and not reporting the income.
- Working under the table or off the books while still collecting unemployment benefits.
- Using someone else’s identity to file a fraudulent claim for unemployment benefits.
- Helping someone else to make a false unemployment insurance claim, including collaborating with an employer to make it possible to illegally obtain benefits.
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If you are involved in any part of the scheme to defraud the unemployment insurance program, you can be charged with a criminal offense. You can actually face charges for all fraud crimes committed by co-conspirators; so, for example, could face penalties for submitting a false application even if your name was not actually on the paperwork submitted for benefits.
Penalties for Unemployment Insurance Fraud
There are both state and federal penalties for fraud crimes. In 2011, the Unemployment Insurance Integrity Act was passed to require states to enhance penalties for fraudulent unemployment claims.
You could be charged with insurance fraud crimes under Article 176 of the NY Penal Code identifying insurance fraud crimes. Title 9 Section 632 of New York’s unemployment insurance laws also makes it a misdemeanor to willfully make a false statement or misrepresentation for the purposes of obtaining unemployment insurance for yourself or someone else.
Penalties vary depending upon the amount of money involved in the fraud scheme as well as what laws you are charged under. If you participated in an identity theft ring to make fraudulent unemployment claims, you can also be charged with state or federal identity theft offenses, as well as with crimes related to the collection of the identifying information such as computer fraud offenses.
An Employment Insurance Fraud Lawyer
When you are at risk of serious criminal charges, you need to be proactive in responding to an investigation or an indictment. Bukh Law Firm, PLLC has helped many clients to respond to charges of employment insurance fraud. Give us a call today to learn how we can provide legal help in negotiating a plea deal or fighting charges of fraud.Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. ATTORNEY ADVERTISEMENT.