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Bill Attorney
Bill Attorney, Lawyer
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I have a question regarding welfare fraud in california. I

Customer Question

Hi, I have a question regarding welfare fraud in california. I have no criminal record and this is coming from unreported income from food stamps that occurred 3 years ago. I owe $3400 and I have a payment plan in place as of last month. I am meeting with an investigator this week and I just want to know if I am in serious trouble or if my background and in process of paying will help me avoid prosecution.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Bill Attorney replied 2 months ago.

This is attorney Bill assisting you today with your question on welfare fraud.

The seriousness of the fraud depends on the amount and which State your in and your compliance with the officer in returning the money.

It is a federal crime contained within title 42 Us code.

Just to answer your question more accurately, which State are you claiming in ?

Attorney Bill

Expert:  Bill Attorney replied 2 months ago.

From the above I see you mentioned California.

There are number of statutes and related crimes associated with welfare fraud including: theft, larceny, obtaining money by false pretenses, federal code and the State welfare act in Califiornia that you could be prosecuted under.

However, there is reason for you to be more hopeful if you are agreeing to pay back the money and being truthful with the investigating officer lesser penalties are imposed.

More likely would be (1) a complete dismissal of the charges

(2) probation or deferred ajudication

(3) tried for a misdemeanor crime rather than a felony or accepted guilt plea for a misdemeanor

As the matter has not been finalized it would be in your interests to be a compliant as possible with investigators as this would influential should they make the decision to prosecute or not to prosecute.

In most circumstances and the way you have described your dealing so far most likely you will be able to get a lesser charge. The meeting will be crucial for this, so best of luck in the meeting.

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Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Do all of those probable outcomes keep a criminal record off of my background? I am a teacher and am worried about my job being impacted
Expert:  Bill Attorney replied 2 months ago.
Thank you for following up with me on your question.
Most deals with the prosecutor involve some kind of guilty plea. When coming to a deal it is possible to agree on an order of non-disclosure in relation to a deferred ajudication that will not show up on a background check. Otherwise you will have the option to apply for an expungement of records at a later date. Obviously, the best situation for you is either non prosecution or a non-disclosure order.
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Attorney Bill
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I had the meeting today. The investigator went over my case and I was honest with her and the questions. At the end she mentioned that sometimes writing a sincere apology letter can be meaningful so I did this and she took it with her. She said her report will be handed over to the defense attorney and they will look at everything and decide. She said I will be notified by mail within the next couple of weeks as to what the decision is. I wrote in my letter that I have every intention of having the amount paid off by June 2017 at the latest. The biggest factor is getting the money back, correct? My ability and willingness to pay it back quickly, will that work in my favor as well when the DA is reviewing everything?
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Do you think given my effort and ability to pay, coorperating with the interview and clean record will put me in a pretty good position to avoid prosecution at best and non disclosure at worst? Wouldn't going through courts and stuff just hypothetically put more of a delay on the money being repaid?
Expert:  Bill Attorney replied 2 months ago.

Thanks for following up with me.

Exactly, that's why your interview next week is crucial; investigating officers have an amount of discretion in these circumstances about what avenue to follow. It comes down to the interview and your compliance like I intimated before.

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ATTORNEY BILL

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Does the investigator have any input on the decision before handing it over to the DA? I know she said they make the final decision, but I'm wondering if she will have any input since she conducted the interview with me.
Expert:  Bill Attorney replied 2 months ago.
Thats right, her notes and evaluation will be available to the DA, but her recommendation will be very poignant in relation to your case.
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Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Last question, i understand it's a matter of opinion but based on the information i have given you, do you feel my chances of avoiding any felony charges are likely?
Expert:  Bill Attorney replied 2 months ago.
While I wasnt at the interview, because the amount involved is under 5,000 , I doubt the DA is looking for a felony conviction.
Attorney Bill
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Ok. I forgot to mention in the interview she said the possible charges would be welfare fraud and 2 counts of perjury because of the papers signed. Does that change your opinion on anything or since it's below 5000, I'm paying it back, I'm coorperating, no criminal record and everything else....am I still in a position to be hopeful for dismissal or lesser charge?
Expert:  Bill Attorney replied 2 months ago.

Well there is always a worst case scenario that she was alluding you to.

You asked my opinion. My opinion is that the amount not being greater than 20,000 means threat they won't all be out to get you. The amount is very important and the interview.

This is my opinion, deferred ajudication is my opinion. Let me know how you get on and follow up with another question about any plea deal suggested.

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Bill

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
She said I will be mailed a decision in a few weeks. The total amount is $3342.12 that I owe. I've made a payment arrangement of $100 a month and paid $100 on that and also let her know my payment next month will be like $400. She also said that writing an apology letter to the DA can be helpful in showing remorse toward the situation so I did do that.At the end she did mention that usually they don't want to do anything to jeopardize your employment because the point of the assistance is to get you back on your feet and stuff.Do any of those things help me?
Expert:  Bill Attorney replied 2 months ago.

Most definitely, all of them. It sounds to me that they are treating your first offense lightly. Just remember not to do anything like that again as it will be more seriously dealt with.

Attorney Bill

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
absolutely. I was extremely apologetic and remorseful of the situation. I am hoping all these things will get me s dismissal. Let's say it's a worst case and it goes to court, I would need to secure an attorney to workout a plea bargain for me? Or what would the next steps be?Again, isn't the biggest concern of theirs getting the money back?
Expert:  Bill Attorney replied 2 months ago.

Yes, you should hire an attorney if there were any charges. He or she could make a better deal for you in terms of a plea deal.

Please post me another question when you have more information as I already have given my answer in the current situation. I will be glad to answer another question when you have more information.

If there are charges, I recommend that you hire an attorney.

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Bill

Expert:  Bill Attorney replied 2 months ago.

Dear Customer,

I see you have yet to rate my answer.

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So I encourage you to rate POSITIVELY NOW after receiving an answer.

If you require more information, I'd be happy to supply more when needed.

Best of luck

Attorney Bill

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