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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 23583
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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I got a letter from the welfare department saying that I was

Customer Question

I got a letter from the welfare department saying that I was overpaid and they want to meet with me to see if they are going to charge me with fraud. I did not intentionally ever commit fraud. They are stating that I did not turn in income statements for a period of six months. We have had numerous problems with the county assistance office and them losing our paperwork, not inputting it, etc. My husband went from short term disability to long term disability. I remember talking to the case worker about it. This was in 2013. They are just now informing me. They said it was reported (I believe) in 2013, but they are very back logged. I do not want a conviction of fraud on my record. I didn't do anything wrong. Do I need to get a lawyer?
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: I also remember talking to a case worker and him saying that it was showing we had no income, and I told him it wasn't true and sent income verification in. This is for SNAP benefits. I had to send bank statements in as well. How could I not disclose my income if I am sending in bank statements?
JA: OK got it. Last thing — Criminal Lawyers generally expect a deposit of about $18 to help with your type of question (you only pay if satisfied). Now I'm going to take you to a page to place a secure deposit with JustAnswer. Don't worry, this chat is saved. After that, we will finish helping you.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 10 months ago.

Hello, and thanks for requesting me.

It's always best to have a lawyer under circumstances like thiis, because otherwise anything you say can potentially be used against you. And while it would appear from your question, that you can likely produce enough documentation for them to see that you had no intent to defraud the government, it never hurts to err on the side of caution in order to protect yourself.

If you do nothing at all, they will go with the information they believe they arleady have and that may be enough to charge you with fraud. So meeting with the investigator can likely help you, but a lawyer is a good idea even though, strictly speaking, one isn't necessary.