What Is a False Statement to Obtain Unemployment Compensation?
If someone makes a false statement to acquire unemployment benefits unlawfully, then they can face state and federal criminal charges. If the federal government is defrauded in any way, then it can result in federal charges. There are two main federal laws that prohibit making false statements to obtain unemployment compensation. They are:
Other charges that someone can face for making false statements to obtain unemployment compensation include:
- Mail fraud – This is if the mail was used in some way to complete the crime alleged
- Wire fraud – This is if a telecommunication line such as a phone or internet was used in some way to complete the crime alleged
- Conspiracy – This is if more than one person was working together to commit the crime alleged
If you are facing an investigation or charges related to making a false statement, then it is important to speak to an experienced federal criminal defense attorney immediately.
What Are the Common Types of False Statements to Obtain Unemployment Compensation?
There are an ever-increasing number of ways that people can commit unemployment fraud, the two main types are:
- Identity Theft/Imposter Fraud – This type of fraud involves using someone's personal identifying information to apply for and obtain unemployment benefits. This information is stolen from people through data breaches, phishing schemes, and impersonation scams.
- Fraud Overpayments – This involves making false statements or withholding information to obtain unemployment benefits wrongly. One example of this type of fraud is when someone continues to receive benefits after resuming employment and does not report this information to the unemployment agency.
Unemployment fraud convictions can result in severe penalties, such as incarceration, restitution, and fines.
What Are the Potential Penalties for a False Statement to Obtain Unemployment Compensation?
There are several potential consequences if you are convicted of making a false statement to obtain unemployment benefits. If you knowingly and willfully falsify, cover up a material fact, or make a false or fraudulent statement or representation, then you can be charged with a felony and be sentenced to federal prison for up to five years.
If it is alleged that you obtained less than $1,000 fraudulently through making a false statement, then you can be charged with a misdemeanor and can be punished by a fine and sentenced to jail for up to one year. The potential penalties for your case are fact-dependent and are based on several other factors.
What Are Some Common Defenses to a False Statement to Obtain Unemployment Compensation Charge?
If you are facing a false statement to obtain unemployment compensation charge, then there are several potential defenses available. Defenses are based on the facts and circumstances and include:
- No false statement was made
- You did not have an intent to commit a crime. This means that the mistake you made was harmless and not meant to defraud anyone. If you accidentally report less income than you earned in a period when you applied for unemployment, then a mistake can be a defense.
- The government violated your Constitutional rights
There are several other defenses that might be available to you. Make sure that you have an experienced federal criminal defense attorney review your case with you before you decide what to do. Don't take any offers without discussing your case with an attorney.
In What Court Will Your Case Be Heard?
Federal criminal cases are heard in federal District Courts across the country. Pennsylvania has three federal Districts where cases are heard. They are the Central, Middle, and Eastern Districts. All federal cases in Pennsylvania are heard in federal district courts based on the location of the alleged offense.
Appeals from a federal district court in Pennsylvania must be made to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. The Supreme Court is the only court that has higher authority than the Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court also chooses which cases it hears, so most appeals don't make it higher than the Court of Appeals. An experienced federal criminal defense attorney can help you understand your options in your case so you can make the most informed decisions.
How Hiring an Experienced Attorney Can Help
If you are facing criminal charges, then hiring an experienced attorney can best help you understand the criminal process and what your options are. An experienced attorney can help you review your evidence to determine the best potential defenses. After a full review of your case, then your attorney can also discuss with you the potential of making a resolution. Final decisions on your case always remain yours to make. If your case needs to be resolved through a trial, then having experienced counsel can put you in the best position to defend your case in front of a jury.
If you want to make a deal, then your attorney can negotiate its terms for you. Your attorney can also let you know if the proposed deal is a good one and why. It is important to consider all of your options when defending your case. If you have legal questions, then contact us at The Lento Law Firm today so we can help!
Why Hiring Lento Law Is the Right Choice
If you are being investigated or prosecuted federally for making a false statement to obtain unemployment compensation, then it is important to speak to an experienced federal criminal defense attorney right away. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has helped people defend countless criminal charges in several jurisdictions. Call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 to learn why hiring Lento Law is the right choice to help defend your federal case.