California Employment Law

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I have a California EDD situation I was in where I

Hello,I have a California EDD...
Hello,I have a California EDD situation I was in where I mistakenly claimed extra benefits for 4 months. Mistakenly in the sense that I didn't understand I wasn't allowed to claim when I had a full-time job. I know that was a mistake now, so what I ended up doing was back in early September I followed legal advice and repaid all of the money I was not entitled to by sending a check and a letter to the EDD. I should also say I did this before ever hearing from the EDD.Yesterday, I received an automated call and letter in the mail l from EDD with a scheduled phone interview tomorrow morning. The letter references that they may ask me questions about accepting wages and if I had wrongfully reported claims. I talked to a local attorney and their advice was it was in my best interest to ignore the EDD's call tomorrow. Since I had already returned the money I was not entitled to before hearing from them, he said it sounds like this letter and interview I have is to get me to admit that I didn't claim correctly so they can give me the 30% penalty. I don't mind paying it, but he said it was in my best interest to not answer, but also, that it was my choice.So now I'm conflicted. I don't mind paying a penalty, but I also don't want them to try to take it further and do more to me. In your opinion, is ignoring okay? Especially since I returned all the money already before I heard from them?
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
11/8/2017
Patrick, Esq.
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 14,396
Experience: Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
Verified

Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do everything I can to answer your question.

They may wind up imposing the penalty either way. The bigger concern is avoiding making any statements that could cause the EDD to pursue a criminal prosecution against you for benefits fraud, and that is likely the reason for their call. They want evidence to support the case that you knowingly submitted false statements for the purpose of collecting benefits. Without statements and admissions from you, they probably don't have enough for a case, but you could say something during your interview which gives the EDD reason to believe they have enough to move forward. Therefore, it's a situation in which there is nothing to gain and much to potentially lose. You have no legal obligation to speak to the EDD investigators or to make statements which could potentially be used against yourself. So, as the other attorney told you, the best course of action would typically be to ignore the EDD's efforts to get you on the phone and conduct an interview of any sort.

I hope this helps.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Hello, yes this does help. My biggest fear is criminal prosecution, but the lawyers I’ve talked to have all said that for the amount I owed it would be insane/highly unlikely to see criminal charges ($8,100 total).
Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Do you agree? And also, if I ignore the call, will they just continue to try to get me on the phone until I do? Is there an end to this?

I do agree that criminal prosecution is unlikely, but $8,000 is no small sum of money. People are prosecuted in court for shoplifting $100 of merchandise all the time, so a criminal prosecution over $8,000 would certainly not be unheard of. The difficulty with a criminal prosecution is proving fraudulent intent. That can probably only be established by getting you to talk, so the most important thing to do is not talk. They may try calling you more than once. I cannot predict the exact number of calls you will receive, but I can't imagine it being more than a small handful.

I hope this helps. Again, please feel free to let me know if you have any further concerns. If I have answered your question, I would be very grateful for a positive rating of my service (using the stars at the top of the page) so that I may receive credit for assisting you.

Very best wishes.

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I just wanted to follow up because this question still appears to be open. Was there anything else I can clarify for you or do to assist before we wrap up? If so it's my pleasure....

Patrick, Esq.
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 14,396
Experience: Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
Verified
Patrick, Esq. and 87 other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
No, thank you, I’ll close it and review.
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