In order to receive welfare benefits, one has to qualify based on his or her current living situation. The information about one’s income, job, dependents and other details related to the current living situation has to be completely accurate. If authorities suspect that any information has been falsified, it’s possible to face charges associated with welfare fraud. The government looks at welfare fraud as a type of theft and takes this kind of crime very seriously. If you’re facing welfare fraud charges or if you’re under investigation for welfare fraud, you need to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible about your case.
Welfare Fraud is a type of white-collar crime. These crimes, which are usually non-violent in nature, typically involve some type of financial theft via paperwork. Although money is taken unlawfully, it’s not taken at gunpoint. In many cases, there are clerical or accounting issues that can raise doubts about a person’s status or ability to receive benefits. Although these aren’t traditional violent crimes, the penalties for crimes like welfare fraud and other white-collar crimes can be quite harsh. Listed below are come common forms of welfare fraud.
Common Types of Welfare Fraud
- Failing to report income
- Failure to report assets
- Falsely claming dependents
- Falsifying information
- Receiving welfare benefits in more than one state
- Identity theft to get benefits
- Using multiple names to collect benefits
- Failing to report alimony
- Failing to notify government that a child is no longer in the home
Failing to Report Income
One of the most common forms of welfare fraud is failing to report income. This can occur in a variety of different ways. Sometimes, people will get gainful employment that would exclude them from getting welfare benefits. If they don’t report the new employment and income right away, they can be accused of welfare fraud. Additionally, if you get paid “under the table” or “off the books” and don’t report that income, but you continue to receive welfare benefits, you can be charged with welfare fraud. Any and all income being made needs to be reported to ensure you don’t face welfare fraud charges, and if you have been charged with welfare fraud, you need to contact an attorney immediately.
Another common type welfare fraud is falsifying information about dependents. This can include giving inaccurate information about how many people are in your household. It can also include failing to report that a child has moved out of the home. At any given time, you need to report exactly how many people in are in your house and how many dependents you have in order to receive the accurate amount of welfare benefits. Situations change and people come and go, but it’s important to keep up with these changes, so you don’t have to face any unnecessary and potentially damaging welfare fraud charges.
Identity Theft for Benefits
Identity theft for benefits is also a common issue associated with potential welfare fraud cases. This can involve a variety of different situations. Have you been accused of using somebody else’s identity in order to get welfare benefits? Did you continue collecting the benefits of somebody who was deceased? Have you been accused of using multiple names in order to collect welfare benefits? Any situation involving multiple identities or somebody else’s benefits could land you in hot water. Additionally, depending upon the unique circumstances of your individual case, you could be facing a variety of other charges associated with identity theft or other white-collar crimes.
Welfare fraud is a serious crime with potentially serious consequences, if convicted. Sometimes, penalties associated with white-collar crimes are harsher than penalties associated with violent crimes. If you’re facing any charges associated with welfare fraud, identity theft or some other type of white-collar crime, you need to contact a criminal defense lawyer who has proven white-collar crime and fraud case experience as soon as possible. Exercise your right to remain silent, and politely ask to speak with your lawyer. You don’t have to answer any questions before you speak with your lawyer. The sooner you speak with a lawyer, the better chance you have at a favorable outcome in your case.
If you have been charged with welfare fraud or if you are under investigation for welfare fraud in Jackson or in any of the surrounding Metro Area communities, contact the skilled and proven Criminal Defense team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 265-7766 for an immediate case consultation today.
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