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Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 19499
Experience:  B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
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I was unfamiliar with the unemployment claiming process in

Customer Question

I was unfamiliar with the unemployment claiming process in my state of NJ and accidentally collected benefits for 8 years thinking I was entitled to that money JA: Have you documented this or discussed it with HR? Customer: No JA: Is the employment agreement "at will," union, full time or part time? Customer: Full time union which is set to be permanent layoff in August due to the plant shutting down JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you? Customer: I have a clean record..Ive never been in trouble with the law.. I collected 135,000 throughout 8 years and I just sent back the initial claimant response form saying that I would like to set up a repayment plan. Im afraid that they will not accept my apology and charge me with unemployment fraud because of the amount owed. Is there a way to avoid jail time and a criminal record?

Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 7 months ago.

Hello: This isCustomer Welcome to JustAnswer! I am reviewing your post, and I will post my response very shortly. Thank you for your patience.

Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 7 months ago.

I am sorry to read about your difficulties.

If you can show that this was a mistake, it is unlikely that the state would go after you for unemployment fraud and jail time. The payment arrangement would be sufficient. However, if the State decides to prosecute and you cannot afford an Attorney, the State must appoint one for you so that the Attorney can assist you in negotiating with the prosecutor on your penalty. At this time, you have to wait to receive a response from the department to your initial response and request from payment plan in order to know your further cause of action: whether to retain the services of a criminal defense Attorney or not retain one and figure out how to make your payments if your request for payment plan is accepted.

Best wishes,