What Is a False Statement to Obtain Unemployment Compensation?
If someone makes a false statement to illegally obtain unemployment benefits, then they can be criminally charged at the state and federal levels. If the federal government is defrauded in any way, then it can result in federal charges. The two main federal statutes that deal with false statements to obtain unemployment compensation include 18 USC 1919 and 18 USC 1920. Other charges that someone can face include mail fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy. If you are facing an investigation or charges related to making a false statement, then it is important to speak to an attorney immediately.
What Are the Common Types of False Statements to Obtain Unemployment Compensation?
While there are many ways that fraudsters can illegally obtain unemployment compensation, there are two main types of unemployment fraud. They are:
- Identity Theft/Imposter Fraud – This is where fraudsters use another person's personal identifying information to apply for and receive unemployment benefits. This information can be obtained by fraudsters through outside data breaches, email phishing schemes, and impersonation scams.
- Fraud Overpayments - This kind of fraud involves a claimant making false statements or withholding information to receive unemployment benefits improperly. One example is when a claimant continues to receive benefits after returning to work and fails to report their earnings to the unemployment agency.
A conviction for either type of fraudulent unemployment compensation can lead to severe penalties, such as jail time, restitution, and fines.
What Are the Potential Penalties for a False Statement to Obtain Unemployment Compensation?
There are several potential penalties that someone can face if they are accused of making a false statement to obtain unemployment benefits. If an individual knowingly and willfully falsifies, covers up a material fact, or makes a false or fraudulent statement or representation, then that individual can face a felony charge and imprisonment for up to five years. If the amount of the benefits falsely obtained does not exceed $1,000, then the person can face a misdemeanor charge and can be punished by a fine, or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both. The potential penalties for your case are dependent on the facts and circumstances of the situation.
What Are Some Common Defenses to a False Statement to Obtain Unemployment Compensation Charge?
There are different types of defenses available to someone who is charged with making a false statement to obtain unemployment compensation. The type of defense available in an unemployment fraud case will depend on the circumstances. Common defenses include:
- The person did not make a false statement
- The person did not have criminal intent. This means that they did not intentionally do anything wrong in order to commit fraud. For example, if you mistakenly report less income than you actually made when you applied for unemployment, this would not be considered fraud.
- Law enforcement violated your Constitutional rights
The defenses available in your case will depend on the facts and circumstances. Make sure you understand what defenses are available to you before making any decisions in your case. An experienced federal criminal defense attorney can help you make your decisions.
In What Court Will Your Case Be Heard?
All federal criminal cases are processed in various federal District Courts across the country. In New Jersey, there is one federal District and three court locations within the New Jersey District. If you are accused of a crime in New Jersey, then your case will be heard in the court closest to the location of where the alleged crime took place.
If you don't agree with a decision in a false statement to obtain an unemployment compensation case in federal district court in New Jersey, then you can file an appeal with the appellate court if the rules are followed. All appeals from a New Jersey District Court must go to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. The only remaining higher court is the United States Supreme Court. The United States Supreme Court has complete authority to determine which cases it wants to hear. There is no automatic right to get the United States Supreme Court to hear and decide your case. An experienced attorney can help you understand what is relevant to your case and what you need to do to defend yourself properly.
How Hiring an Experienced Attorney Can Help
If you are facing federal criminal charges, then it is critical to have someone on your side who has specific criminal defense experience in federal court. If you are charged with a criminal offense, then an experienced attorney can help you understand the case and charges you are facing. An attorney can also comment on a case's strengths and weaknesses and help you decide whether to go to trial or work out a deal.
If you want to make a plea deal with the prosecutor, then your attorney can negotiate it for you. Your attorney can also tell you whether the proposed resolution is the best idea for you to take. Make sure you understand the law and potential penalties in your case before deciding how to move forward. If you legal have questions, then contact us at the Lento Law Firm today!
Why Hiring Lento Law Is the Right Choice
If you are being investigated or prosecuted federally for allegedly 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 at 888-535-3686 to learn why hiring Lento Law is the right choice to help you defend your federal case.