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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 16084
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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My wife did not properly document her snap application. She

Resolved Question:

My wife did not properly document her snap application. She stated that she was not married and only has three children. The correct information is that she is married and has a total of six children.

Its seems that the investagator knows information about her personal backgroud such as the fact she is married. She did not truly mean to lie about her information, she only listed the three children on her applicantion that are from a previous relationship.

We currently are living together and I make 4200 dollars a month which is not enought to support eight mouths during the time period.

Im sure that she will be brought up on charges for this issue. Im wondering what is the best course of action in dealing with this issue.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 9 months ago.
Hello,

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I am a NYS criminal lawyer.

In New York your wife could be charged with Welfare fraud, and exactly how serious the matter can be will depend upon the amount of money she improperly received as a result of having failed to report her income and family size accurately.

There are 5 degrees of welfare fraud that could be charged. If the overpayment she received was not particularly significant, she may only be facing a misdemeanor. If the overpayment was substantial, this could be an E, D, C or B felony charge.

Typically, if she is charged, the DA will generally offer her a disposition that rarely involves jail time. It may involve misdemeanor or felony probation and absolutely will involve restitution. That is, she will be expected to pay back every cent of what she was not entitled to get.

She also could fight the charges if she had a viable defense to the charges, and would be eligible, if arrested, for a public defender.

Has the state contacted her and what have they asked her to do? Please use the reply tab below to respond.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.


Thanks for the reply. She has been on aid for the last six months. The total about that she has received is around 3700. Today the gentleman called and was asking about where I worked and stated that it is important that he speaks with me. He even stated that he would call my job. How can he use this imformation to contact my job about me? I provided no information at all on this mater. Can I be held also responsible for this issue?


 


She really wants this process to be over with ASAP. What do you suggest?

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 9 months ago.
Hi James,

If the amount that your wife received was over $3,000 but less than $50,000, your wife could be charged with a Class C felony. Because she would be very close to the maximum for the D felony ($3000) the DA would probably offer her a plea to a D felony and 5 years of felony probation with the understanding that she would pay the state back.

You are being investigated because your income was not disclosed when your wife made out her application and that will allow them to determine the amount of the overpayment. But, of course, you are also at risk of potential charges if she falsified her application with your knowledge and consent. You'd be a co-conspirator.

I don't know who contacted you and wants to talk to you, but you have the right to say no or to force him to get a warrant and move this case forward against you and/or your wife without giving them the ammunition that they need against you on a platter.

I wouldn't be so quick to cooperate. He can get the information from your employer without you helping him.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.


Ok. Final two questions. How can I be legally brought into this issue? I did not sign any documents, nor did I consent to the applicantion. I surely will not cooperate with him in any regards. How can he contact my employer, if I'm not the person who filled the applicantion or had any dealing with the entire process?

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 8 months ago.

Hi James,

I am sorry for the delay. I turned in for the night rather earlier than usual.

There's a world of difference between what's necessary for an arrest and what's necessary for a conviction. To arrest someone, the police only need probable cause. Probable cause is just a reasonable belief that a crime may have been committed and that you may have had something to do with it. It takes very little evidence to get probable cause. To convict, the state needs to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt, on the other hand. That is a very heavy burden for the state and requires a great deal of evidence. So, if the the authorities believe it reasonable that you and your wife colluded to defraud the State of benefit money, you could be charged of this along with your wife. Then, how much you did and didn't know, what you did or didn't do or consent to, could then be a matter of fact for a jury to determine.

I don't necessarily see you being charged here, but it stands to reason that if the authorities are investigating the situation and buzzing around you, something you say could potentially provide them with probable cause. I'm glad to hear the you haven't gotten chatty with him. It can't do either you or your wife any good.

 

Again, you have not told me the title of the person who called you. But there's no reason why he couldn't come to your workplace and talk to your employer pursuant to a police or state investigation if your employer consents to speak to him.

Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 16084
Experience: Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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