Unemployment Compensation Fraud

Unemployment compensation fraud never receives much attention from the media and it’s rarely talked about.  In fact, many people do not even realize that it’s a criminal offense that carries a possible jail sentence upon conviction.  But in Maryland unemployment compensation fraud is actually a common crime, and the defendants in these cases come from all economic classes.  Much like DUI, it is truly a crime that can happen to anyone, and many of the defendants had no intention of ever committing a crime in the first place.  If you have been laid off or in some cases even fired from your job the state provides temporary economic assistance in the form of paychecks.  These government checks come at a price though, as you basically have to turn down any sort of temporary work opportunity.  You can work while receiving money from the state, but you must immediately report that you working, which most of the time will occur before you are actually paid.  The rules and regulations of this system are often complex, and it can be hard to understand exactly what the limitations are.  This is why innocent people can often find themselves under investigation by the state, or worse charged with a crime in criminal court.  But there is no need to risk a conviction or even jail time; if you or a loved one is being investigated or has been charged with unemployment compensation fraud, contact Benjamin Herbst for a free consultation.  Benjamin has fought the state in these cases before, and he is ready to do the same in your case.

 

Section 8-1305 of the labor and employment article gives law enforcement the authority to initiate criminal charges against anyone who is believed to have willfully violated a provision of the unemployment compensation code.  A basic violation could carry a jail term of up to 90 days, while certain aggravating factors bump the maximum penalty all the way to a year in jail.  Both violations include mandatory payment of restitution with interest and can also result in being prohibited from filed for benefits for up to a year.   A basic violation would include failing to report supplemental income, which is the most common type of violation.  An aggravated violation could include false statements or fraudulent applications by an employing unit or officer.

 

In many cases a state official will actually contact the recipient before filing charges or will send notice to call at a certain time.  We recommend calling an experienced attorney if you receive notice of an ongoing investigation before speaking to anyone.  What you say to a government official can be used against you in a court, but many times these criminal prosecutions can be avoided.  A settlement agreement in lieu of charges being filed is always a possibility if handled correctly.  The Herbst Firm will thoroughly examine the facts of your case before making the best possible decision on the way to defend you, and if this means going to trial then we will not hesitate to do so.  Contact the Firm today at 410-207-2598.    

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