Unemployment benefits form to represent fraud

Unemployment fraud is a serious crime that has gained increased attention in recent years, particularly in the wake of the economic challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. As more individuals have found themselves needing unemployment benefits, the potential for fraudulent activities has also risen. At The Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan, we have the experience and skills to offer critical insights into the consequences of unemployment fraud and the importance of seeking experienced legal representation if you’re facing these serious charges. Contact us today for a confidential initial consultation, and let’s discuss your rights and options.

What Is Unemployment Fraud?

At its core, unemployment fraud occurs when an individual knowingly provides false information or withholds material facts to obtain unemployment benefits they are not legally entitled to receive. This type of fraud can manifest in various forms, such as failing to report earned income while collecting benefits, submitting falsified job search records, or using another person’s identity to claim benefits. 

What Are the Penalties for Unemployment Fraud?

As you may already know, the penalties for unemployment fraud can be severe and far-reaching. Depending on the extent of the fraud, the jurisdiction, and the specific circumstances of the case, individuals may face substantial fines, restitution payments, and even imprisonment.

Federal law requires states to assess a fine for unemployment fraud at no less than 15 percent of the fraudulent payment received. In Michigan, penalties for unemployment fraud may include:

  • An obligation to pay 100 percent of the overpayment back to the state
  • An additional fine of 100 percent of the overpayment amount for a first offense and 150 percent for a subsequent offense
  • Imprisonment for up to one year
  • Garnishment of state tax returns

Furthermore, unemployment fraud may be prosecuted at the federal level under 18 U.S.C § 1341 as well as other federal statutes.

Beyond the immediate penalties, there are also long-term consequences of a conviction for unemployment fraud. A criminal record can profoundly impact an individual’s future prospects, making it difficult to secure employment, obtain housing, or pursue educational opportunities. The stigma associated with a fraud conviction can follow an individual for years, limiting their ability to rebuild their life and move forward.

In light of these severe consequences, it’s critical to seek experienced legal representation if you’re faced with accusations of unemployment fraud. Navigating the complex criminal justice system can be overwhelming, and handling such a case without proper guidance can be costly. The Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan possess the knowledge, skills, and resources to mount a strong defense and protect their client’s rights throughout the legal process.

Potential Unemployment Fraud Defenses

One of the key advantages of working with The Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan is our ability to investigate the circumstances surrounding the alleged fraud. We understand that accusations do not always tell the whole story and that there are often mitigating factors or defenses to explore. By conducting thorough investigations, interviewing witnesses, and analyzing evidence, our attorneys can uncover crucial information that may help to reduce the charges against our clients or even get them dismissed.

We also recognize that in some cases, the alleged fraud may be the result of a misunderstanding or an honest mistake. For example, an individual may have inadvertently provided inaccurate information on their unemployment application due to confusion or lack of knowledge about the process. In such situations, the attorneys can work to clarify the circumstances and demonstrate their client’s lack of intent to defraud the system.

Our attorneys can also negotiate with prosecutors and explore alternative resolutions. In some cases, we may be able to reach a plea agreement that reduces the charges or minimizes the penalties faced by our clients. We are skilled negotiators and can advocate for the most favorable outcome possible, taking into account the unique circumstances of each case.

Why Choose The Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan?

The sooner you have a defense team in place, the better equipped you’ll be to fight for your freedom. If you suspect you may be under investigation for unemployment fraud, contact The Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan immediately. 

Our lawyers have extensive experience in both the Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan and have appeared before every federal judge in each. These deep connections to the court system, combined with our reputation for excellent results, have earned us the trust and respect of judges and prosecutors alike. In fact, lead attorney Sanford Schulman alone has handled more than 4,000 cases over his 30+ years in practice. We know the law inside and out, and we can apply this knowledge to your defense.

By involving a skilled legal professional early in the process, you can promptly address any potential issues while they’re still manageable. The Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan can communicate with investigators, gather evidence to support the defense and negotiate with prosecutors when appropriate.

Moreover, we recognize the emotional toll that unemployment fraud charges are probably taking on you and your family. We approach each case with compassion and understanding, working tirelessly to alleviate our client’s concerns and provide the support they need during a challenging time. We want to take some of the burden off your shoulders so that you can breathe a little easier.

In addition to their experience dealing with these complex cases, The Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan also offer a wealth of resources and support to our clients. We can connect you with relevant services, such as counseling or financial planning, to help you manage the broader impact of the charges you’re facing. We understand that confronting criminal accusations can be an isolating and stressful experience, and we’ll strive to provide you with a comprehensive support system.

Contact The Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan 

If you find yourself facing charges related to unemployment fraud, do not hesitate to seek the guidance of The Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan. With our extensive experience and unwavering commitment to protecting your rights, we can help you face these challenges with confidence and work towards the best possible outcome for your case. Early intervention is key, so reach out to The Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan as soon as possible to begin building your defense and safeguarding your future.

Federal Criminal Attorneys of Michigan, rooted in Detroit, assists clients with criminal defense in Lansing, Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, Flint, and all of Michigan.