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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27713
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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I have a question about possibly food stamp fraud?

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Hey
JA: Hi. How can I help?
Customer: I have a question about possibly food stamp fraud?
JA: Because consumer protection law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Louisiana
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: No I haven’t yet, I wanted to see if that is my best option.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I originally applied for food stamps for my two children and myself and did not enclosed my children’s father whom was living in the home. I stated in the application I was no longer working for the company and the old controller helped to write the letter. Then another letter stating I was rehired. So when it’s time to reapply they sent a letter to my employer asking if this was true since there were reports of employment of the period when I stated I did not work.

Hi,

I'm Zoey.

I've reviewed your post. So are you saying you underreported your household income? Have you been contacted yet that you're being investigated for benefits fraud?

Customer: replied 25 days ago.
Hi Zoey,Yes and I I haven’t been contacted nor being investigated but my employers found out and asked me to resign. I wanted to know should I report that I did not report enough living in the household at the time of the application?

Thank you. Give me a few minutes to type up a full reply for you.

Customer: replied 25 days ago.
Ok thanks. I also found out that I did not need to lie on the application because I was actually qualified.

It is a criminal offense to deliberately fill out a government application falsely and to thereby get money in an amount that you wouldn't have been entitled to. Welfare will find out eventually if you do nothing. Your employers could inform them. If not, they will eventually look at your tax returns and pick up the discrepancy between what you gave them and what you told the Feds. That's the way that most people who are facing a fraud investigation get caught.

It's always better to be proactive and to try to fix the problem before the government finds it for themselves. Your best chance of avoiding criminal charges would be if you talk to the agency and ask them to set up a payment plan so that you can reimburse you for the money they should not have paid you. The government can choose to have you charged anyway, but it's much less likely than if they discover the fraud.

The problem is that anything you tell them can be used against you if they want to charge you anyway, and unless you can try to tell them that your underreporting was an honest mistake rather than a deliberate act, you would be confessing to a crime. For that reason, if you want to pay back the government, you should consider contacting a lawyer and having him call to arrange the payment plan. In that way, you avoid making admissions that can be used against you in court.

Customer: replied 25 days ago.
Ok, so I would have to contact an attorney that handle cases like this?
Customer: replied 25 days ago.
Would it be consider a white collar crime? What type of attorney do I have to contact?

You could try a criminal defense lawyer.

Yes, this is white collar crime.

Customer: replied 25 days ago.
Ok thank you

You're very welcome!

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Zoey_ JD and other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 25 days ago.
I will rate you. Thank you.

Thanks for the rating! Enjoy the weekend.