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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 25916
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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I have committed a fraud on unemployment insurance and I

Customer Question

JA: Hello. How can we help?
Customer: I have committed a fraud on unemployment insurance and I need to set it right i am hoping that someone can answer some question
JA: Have any charges been filed in this matter?
Customer: I am thinking about contact the unemployment insurance and return the money. will I get a jail time no
JA: In what state did this occur? And has an attorney been consulted?
Customer: NY I have not contact an attorney eyt yet I just want to find out if I could just go to them and return the money and pay fine
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: oh how much do I have to pay for consulting ?
JA: It can cost anywhere from $10 to $100, depending on the type of issue and how much of the criminal lawyer's time your question is expected to take (how complex and lengthy an answer you require).
Customer: do i need to make an appointment?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 6 months ago.


I'm Zoey and I'll be assisting you. I'm reviewing your question now. Please be patient while I compose a reply for you.

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 6 months ago.

The best way to avoid prosecution for unemployment fraud is to contact unemployment, tell them that you made a mistake when you applied and that you want to rectify it and ask them to set up a payment plan for you to return any money that you weren't actually entitled to. You may even want to retain a lawyer to make that call for you or show up at unemployment with you.

Can they decide to prosecute you anyway if they see fraud? Yes, they could, but if you come forward to make it right, they typically won't. If, on the other hand, they find the overpayment themselves and find signs of fraud, then they generally will prosecute. So it does pay to be proactive and try to make things right before they even notice you were wrong.

If you are prosecuted, this is a felony charge. However, the standard offer for this kind of case if you wanted to resolve it with a plea instead of a trial is probation with restitution to the government. So will you get jail time? Well, the statute allows for it, but it's very, very unlikely. I'm a NYS lawyer and have represented many clients charged with unemployment fraud over the years. All of them were offered probation.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
do I need to go to Albany and sort this out or I can contact local unemployment insurance agency.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
also I think I am getting an audit. so I am freaking out right now and I do not want to go to jail.
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 6 months ago.

As I've indicated, the odds of you ending up serving time for this offense are near zero. Even if convicted, you can expect to get an offer of probation. The state wants its money and has a better chance of getting it if you are allowed to work and pay it back.

You can contact your local office, but again, if you're nervous about it, consider retaining a lawyer to set up the repayment plan with you or for you.

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 6 months ago.

Just checking in to see if you need more help or any clarification of my answer. If so, please reply here on this question thread.