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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 90044
Experience:  Attorney with over 20 years law enforcement, prosecution, civil rights and defense experience
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Im possibly being charged for Food Stamp Fraud. Currently

Resolved Question:

I'm possibly being charged for Food Stamp Fraud. Currently I have a home visit scheduled to determine my household income. My children father does not live with me but someone reported that he does. What rights do I have?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Since this is a criminal violation, you have a right to not make any statements at all without an attorney. You also do not need to allow them in your home without a warrant. However, if you deny them access to your home, this could be grounds for them to just stop your benefits for you being uncooperative. Thus, you need to consider going to legal aid and seeking representation for this interview and asking the investigators to meet you at their office or at legal aid for the interview. Of course, if you have proof inside your house that your boyfriend does not live there, then you may want them to come to the home to see that there is no evidence of anyone living there but you and your child.


If you have additional questions, please keep in mind that I do not know what you already know or don't know, or with what you need help, unless you tell me. Please consider that I am answering the question or question that is posed in your posting based upon my reading of your post and sometimes misunderstandings can occur. If I did not answer the question you thought you were asking, please respond with the specific question you wanted answered.

Also remember, sometimes the law does not support what we want it to support, but that is not the fault of the person answering the question, so please be courteous.

PLEASE NOTE WELL, LEGAL ANSWERS TAKE MORE THAN “MINUTES” TO PUT TOGETHER AS WE ARE DEALING WITH LAWS OF 50 STATES PLUS FEDERAL LAWS, AS WELL AS DEALING WITH OTHER CUSTOMERS, SO PLEASE BE PATIENT IT WILL BE MORE THAN “MINUTES” IN SOME CASES BEFORE YOU GET A RESPONSE, BUT BE ASSURED YOU ARE NOT BEING IGNORED.

There can also be a delay of an hour or more in between my answers because I may be helping other customers or taking a break.

You can always request me through my profile at http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-paulmjd/ or beginning your question with “For PaulMJD…”

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The letter says that the investigation will go on with or without my cooperation. It also states that I do not have to let them in my home, but guess they will come anyway (when I'm not home). What kind of evidence can they try to get while I'm not home, do I have a right to meet them in their office vs. a home visit or can they just say they are coming anyway. I have provided them a address for my children's father, what more do they need?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
They cannot enter your home without a warrant or your consent, so they cannot just go into your home when you are not there. You have a right to meet them in their office if you want to talk to them, but I strongly urge you not to speak to them without an attorney. You providing them an address of the father is one thing, but they will have to verify that he resides there and not in your apartment.


If you have additional questions, please keep in mind that I do not know what you already know or don't know, or with what you need help, unless you tell me. Please consider that I am answering the question or question that is posed in your posting based upon my reading of your post and sometimes misunderstandings can occur. If I did not answer the question you thought you were asking, please respond with the specific question you wanted answered.

Also remember, sometimes the law does not support what we want it to support, but that is not the fault of the person answering the question, so please be courteous.

PLEASE NOTE WELL, LEGAL ANSWERS TAKE MORE THAN “MINUTES” TO PUT TOGETHER AS WE ARE DEALING WITH LAWS OF 50 STATES PLUS FEDERAL LAWS, AS WELL AS DEALING WITH OTHER CUSTOMERS, SO PLEASE BE PATIENT IT WILL BE MORE THAN “MINUTES” IN SOME CASES BEFORE YOU GET A RESPONSE, BUT BE ASSURED YOU ARE NOT BEING IGNORED.

There can also be a delay of an hour or more in between my answers because I may be helping other customers or taking a break.

You can always request me through my profile at http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-paulmjd/ or beginning your question with “For PaulMJD…”

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Okay I have a few last questions, can you please answer for me.

1) When they said someone reported me, is it possible that they themselves launched the investigation?

2) The letter says that I have a right to review their files and or ask for an appeal. Should I do this only if proven guilty or now before a case starts?

3) My mom owns the home I'm currently residing in and it's a very nice home, however every time I re certify she sends a letter stating that she owns it and is paying the mortgage since I'm in school, but she herself does not live there. My question, since it's not your typical "based on income" what evidence can they ask for from me and my mom?

4) If she meets me at home, can I just sit with her outside on my porch or do I have to let her in?

5)Should I alert my children's school or does she have the right to go to their school question them or obtain their school records?

6) I honestly provided them all the information that they requested. However, this investigation is being launched. My children father does come to my home (his kids are there) but do not live there. I even have a child support agreement, what information can they gather from his job or apartment complex? If this is criminal do his job and his complex have to comply?

7) If I was overpaid and I agree to pay it back will this investigation stop?

8) If I'm found guilty for over payment, will this go on my record?

9) Before this case is closed after they finish investigating do they have to tell me of their facts or "suppose" findings which result in the outcome of me being guilty of over payment?

10)I also receive medicaid with the Department of Social Services, so does that mean that the medicaid department is also investigating my claim?

11) A while back my friend lived with me for about two months (when she left her husband), she applied for her own benefits but now lives in a different county and continues to get benefits. Is our cases somehow linked?

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
1) Yes, they could have initiated the investigation themselves, it could have been an anonymous complaint or they could have a named complainant, but they do not have to disclose any of that to you unless the complaint is substantiated.

2) This would be if they substantiate the complaint.

3) They can ask for proof of her payments on the mortgage and proof she is not residing there with you.

4) You do not have to let her in.

5) You can alert the school, but they cannot stop them from getting information or questioning your children without you being present. They do not need your consent to speak to your children in the investigation.

6) They have a right to obtain information from his apartment complex and job and can do so with administrative subpoenas or even with criminal court subpoenas.

7) Not necessarily. The DA has the sole discretion as to whether or not to pursue criminal charges and just because you repay does not stop the DA from pursuing criminal charges unless you have negotiated some written agreement that they will waive criminal charges for repayment.

8) Yes, you would have it on your record and you would be denied future benefits.

9) They do not have to release any information to you prior to concluding the investigation at which time they will send you a letter with their findings.

10) Depending on the outcome of this investigation they can notify medicaid, but it does not mean medicaid is currently investigating.

11) No, these would be independent.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 90044
Experience: Attorney with over 20 years law enforcement, prosecution, civil rights and defense experience
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