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RobertJDFL
RobertJDFL, Lawyer
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Experience:  Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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what is the statue of limitation on welfare fraud

Customer Question

what is the statue of limitation on welfare fraud
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for using Just Answer. So I can better assist you, I need a little more information first.

Can you tell me what state this is in, please?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

michigan

Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply. I apologize for the slight delay as I was assisting another customer.

The Michigan statute of limitations on crimes is found at MCL 767.24. It provides different periods of limitation based upon the crime. The statute reads as follows (the relevant portion is bolded at the bottom of the statute):

(1) An indictment for murder, conspiracy to commit murder, solicitation to commit murder, criminal sexual conduct in the first degree, or a violation of the Michigan anti-terrorism act, MCL 750.543a to 750.543z, or a violation of MCL 750.200 to 750.212a, that is punishable by life imprisonment may be found and filed at any time.

(2) An indictment for a violation or attempted violation of section 145c, 520c, 520d, 520e, or 520g of the Michigan penal code, MCL 750.145c, 750.520c, 750.520d, 750.520e, and 750.520g, may be found and filed as follows:

(a) Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (b), an indictment may be found and filed within 10 years after the offense is committed or by the alleged victim’s twenty-first birthday, whichever is later.

(b) If evidence of the violation is obtained and that evidence contains DNA that is determined to be from an unidentified individual, an indictment against that individual for the violation may be found and filed at any time after the offense is committed. However, after the individual is identified, the indictment may be found and filed within 10 years after the individual is identified or by the alleged victim’s twenty-first birthday, whichever is later.

(c) As used in this subsection:

(i) “DNA” means human deoxyribonucleic acid.

(ii) “Identified” means the individual’s legal name is XXXXX XXXXX he or she has been determined to be the source of the DNA.

(3) An indictment for kidnapping, extortion, assault with intent to commit murder, attempted murder, manslaughter, or first-degree home invasion may be found and filed within 10 years after the offense is committed.

(4) An indictment for identity theft or attempted identity theft may be found and filed as follows:

(a) Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (b), an indictment may be found and filed within 6 years after the offense is committed.

(b) If evidence of the violation is obtained and the individual who committed the offense has not been identified, an indictment may be found and filed at any time after the offense is committed, but not more than 6 years after the individual is identified.

(c) As used in this subsection:

(i) “Identified” means the individual’s legal name is known.

(ii) “Identity theft” means 1 or more of the following:

(A) Conduct prohibited in section 5 or 7 of the identity theft protection act, 2004 PA 452, MCL 445.65 and 445.67.

(B) Conduct prohibited under former section 285 of the Michigan penal code, 1931 PA 328.

(5) All other indictments may be found and filed within 6 years after the offense is committed.


Thus, while welfare fraud is not specifically mentioned (as most crimes are not specifically mentioned) it falls into the "catch all" six year period from the date the offense is committed. That means a person can be charged within 6 years of allegedly committed welfare fraud.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.

If charge was made five years after the offense, how long do they have to take me to court dealing that it is eight years? What is the penalty for this crime? Can I become a fugitive?

Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.

The punishment depends upon the amount of the benefit received. If the amount involved is $500 or less, the offense is a 1 year maximum misdemeanor. If the amount involved is greater than $500, the offense is a 4 year maximum felony. The amount calculated is the difference between the lawful amount of assistance or aid and the amount of assistance or aid actually received.

As a criminal defendant you have a right to a speedy trial guaranteed by the U.S. and Michigan state constitutions. Generally a defendant in Michigan charged with a felony crime has a right to trial within six months of the date of arrest, and a defendant charged with a misdemeanor crime has a right to trial within 28 days of arrest, but it's not really that simple. Speedy trial rights are a complex discussion that go far beyond the scope of this service. However, it is not unusual in the majority of cases for a defendant to waive their speedy trial rights (because it's unrealistic to think that a defendant will be ready for trial on a misdemeanor in 28 days or within 6 months on a felony, as cases take far longer to prepare).

As such, there is no set time limit. How long it takes to get to resolution of your case if you take it to trial depends on a number of factors- how busy the court docket is, the amount of discovery done by each side in the case, how many pre-trial motions and hearings are required, even whether the judge or one of the lawyers gets sick or goes on vacation can cause delays. Thus, it's not usual for cases, especially felonies, to sometimes take years to make it to trial.

 

As to whether you could become a fugitive, as you have been charged with the offense, if you were to flee to avoid prosecution, yes, that would make you a fugitive from justice and most likely, a felony warrant would be issued for your arrest.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


I ran a daycare operation and I was told that I charged the state for children that was not in the company care which means I should not charge for them. The business is no longer in operation so do this fall under welfare fraud?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


I was the director of the child care center. It was said that hours were billed for children not in care. Does this fall under welfare fraud? The business is no longer in existance and I don't have records but the parent of the children worked there and it was not true. What can I do because I do not have any records/

Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.
The statute on welfare fraud reads in part:

(1) Any person who by means of willful false statement or representation or by impersonation or other fraudulent device obtains or attempts to obtain, or aids or abets any person to obtain:


(a) assistance or relief than that to which he is justly entitled; or

(b) a larger amount of assistance or relief than that to which he is justly entitled; or any officer or employee of a county, city or district Michigan Family Independence Agency, who authorizes or recommends relief to persons known to him to be ineligible or to have fraudulently created their eligibility; or any person who knowingly buys or aids or abets in buying or in disposal of the property of a person receiving assistance of relief without the consent of the director or supervisor of the state agency shall if the amount involved shall be of the value of $500.00 or less, be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and shall if the amount involved shall be of the value of more than $500.00 be deemed guilty of a felony, and upon conviction shall be punished as provided by the laws of this state. The amount as used in this subsection shall be defined as the difference between the lawful amount of assistance or aid and the amount of assistance or aid actually received.

The statute doesn't specifically say anything about daycare or state programs, and welfare generally means programs like food stamps and cash assistance to the poor.

That said, If this was a state run program or was a program receiving money from the state for children in the daycare, and there was steps taken intentionally to bill the state for children that were not in the care of the facility, that is still fraud, even if it is not welfare fraud, and the felony penalties and statute of limitations to prosecute someone are the same.

If there are no records, and it comes down to the words of a parent, I think the state could have a difficult time trying to prove your guilt (because it comes down to your word versus theirs in the absence of documentation). However, I cannot give you legal advice or tell you what to do. I am not your lawyer, nor do I have all the facts or information, so it would be unethical of me to even tell what to do.

If you have been charged already, or believe you soon will be, you need to speak to a criminal defense lawyer in your area as soon as possible. Many offer free or low cost consultations, so it may not even cost you anything, and of course there is no obligation to hire them.

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