Unemployment Insurance Fraud
The definition of unemployment insurance fraud, according to the New York State Department of Labor, involves lying to the Department of Labor. This could include making a claim for unemployment benefits that is inappropriate. Individuals may not be entitled to receive this type of financial assistance. When filling out an application for unemployment benefits, they will provide false information. These incidents are usually addressed at the state level. There is also identity theft rings that engage in identity theft and file unemployment claims on a large-scale and more.
The state of New York is subject to a federal mandate making it necessary for an unemployment claim to be paid a few weeks after the claim is made. In some case, it could result in the state paying on a claim prior to an employer confirming the information provided by an individual about the reason for their unemployment. This has resulted in situations where unemployment fraud scams may get thousands and in some cases millions of dollars. It could be done using the identities of other people. Technologies are being used to prevent these situations, but fraud is still difficult to detect and scams are still operating.
Forms Of Unemployment Fraud
Criminal charges are filed for a number of different types of unemployment fraud. The Department of Labor keeps track of the various fraud schemes that are often utilized.
*Assisting another individual to make a false claim for unemployment benefits. This could involve collaboration with an employer who works to obtain unemployment insurance benefits illegally.
*Filing an unemployment benefits application with false information. This could also include failing to reveal the true reason for termination and more.
*Fraudulently using another person’s identity to file a fraudulent unemployment claim for benefits.
*While collecting unemployment, a person is working and being paid. They fail to report their income as well as days worked.
*Working off the books or under-the-table as a person collects unemployment benefits.
The severity of punishment for unemployment insurance fraud will depend on the amount of money involved.
*Fifth-Degree unemployment insurance fraud involves obtaining any amount in benefits. It is a Class A misdemeanor. Punishment could be incarceration for up to twelve months and a fine of $1,000.
*Fourth-degree unemployment insurance fraud involves obtaining $1,000 in benefits. It is a Class E felony. Punishment could be incarceration for up to four years and a fine of $5,000 or twice the sum of fraudulently obtained benefits.
*Third-Degree unemployment insurance fraud involves obtaining over $3,000 in benefits. It is a Class D felony. Punishment could be incarceration for up to seven years and a fine of $5,000 or twice the sum of fraudulently obtained benefits.
*Second-Degree unemployment insurance fraud involves obtaining over $50,000 in benefits. It is a Class C felony. Punishment could be incarceration for up to fifteen years and a fine twice the sum of fraudulently obtained benefits.
*First Degree unemployment insurance fraud involves obtaining over $1,000,000 in benefits. It is a Class B felony. Punishment could be incarceration for up to 25 years as well as a fine twice the sum of fraudulently obtained benefits.
Many people accused of unemployment insurance fraud will claim they lacked intent. Individuals will claim they unintentionally underreported their prior income or current income with getting unemployment benefits. It is also possible in an unemployment insurance fraud case, the government may not have enough evidence to prove a crime was committed and more.
Should someone be accused of committing unemployment insurance fraud, they should immediately contact an attorney. If this situation is not handled correctly, a person could be fined, spend time in jail or both. It could be the result of an honest mistake and more. An attorney will know how to gather all the facts and make the possible legal representation of a person’s case.