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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 28101
Experience:  Criminal Justice Degree, JD with Criminal Law Concentration. Worked for the DA and U.S. Attorney.
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Food stamp fraud i receive food stamp i have help usually

Customer Question

Food stamp fraud i receive food stamp i have help usually with my paperwork for benefit renewal last year i started my job but i wasn't sure it was temporary i put nojob on paperwork but i Called my caseworker and said i had job but i only worked 2 1/2 weeks and was letgo and rreceived benefits
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: Investigator welfare say i commit fraud because i check no in job box
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Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 11 months ago.

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.

Making any false statement on a claim for public assistance is considered a form of fraud. Whether they decide to press charges will largely depend on how much money you got and whether you are willing/able to repay it. You will not be eligible for any need-based public assistance, state or federal, in the future.

If you are able to tell me what state you're in, I may be able to get you more information about possible criminal charges.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Penmsylvania
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
even if it is mistake and I had job 2 1/2 week and I let case worker know I still have to accept fraud she say 2000 dollars but I did not have job after that I didn't work a month
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 11 months ago.

Thank you.

What makes it fraud is saying that you didn't have a job when you did. It's not about whether you intended to steal, but only about whether you made a statement that wasn't true. All work has to be reported.

I found an article that discussed a dozen people who were prosecuted in PA for food stamp fraud recently, and they were only disqualified from the program for 12 months. Each was required to repay the money and serve a term of probation, as well as pay fines. None of them were sentenced to jail. If you do not have a criminal record, there's a chance you'd be able to negotiate a similar deal with the Commonwealth.

http://www.wgal.com/news/12-sentenced-for-welfare-fraud/30235082

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 11 months ago.

It's not likely that you would have to go to jail, but if the Commonwealth has any intention whatsoever of asking the judge to order jail, then you are legally entitled to a free lawyer to represent you if you can't afford to hire one.

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