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False Statements to Obtain Unemployment Benefits

Arizona False Statements to Obtain Unemployment Benefits

When it comes to breaking the law, fraud is a non-violent crime that ends up costing individuals, companies, and governments large amounts of money each and every year. 

Fraud is criminal deception, sometimes unintentional, that is intended to result in financial or personal gain. From identity theft to credit card fraud, there are several types that plague our country on a daily occurrence. 

While most fraud is intentional, there is one type that can happen without any malicious intent at all. Unemployment insurance fraud, whether you are aware of it or not, is a serious crime and the penalties can be costly. Let’s take a closer look at what you can be facing with unemployment insurance fraud.

What is Unemployment Insurance Fraud?

The first question you may ask if you are unaware of any wrongdoing is, “what is unemployment fraud?” Simply stated, unemployment insurance (UI) fraud is the receipt of insurance benefits that you are not entitled to. In Arizona, the law states that you are eligible for unemployment benefits if:

  • You have registered for work
  • You have made a claim for benefits by filing an application for unemployment in AZ
  • You are able to work
  • You have been actively looking for employment
  • You made a certain amount in wages for a certain length of time prior to becoming unemployed.

Meeting these criteria allows individuals to file and start collecting unemployment insurance benefits. Knowing how to properly apply for unemployment benefits in Arizona can be difficult and confusing, so, it is best to consult with experts in the subject matter to learn what is considered insurance fraud. 

The Sonoran Law Group brings more than 20 years of experience defending individuals that face “white collar” charges. So, if you find yourself facing the serious charges of unemployment insurance fraud, we can help ensure that the best defensive measures are taken to maintain your freedom and save you money

Unemployment Insurance Fraud

Situations and Penalties

It can be very tempting to try and push the system and take advantage as much as possible, but the consequences, even for unintentional UI fraud are costly in both freedom and money. Navigating this process by the book can be tricky, and there are several ways that UI fraud can occur:

  • The most common situation is working while collecting unemployment benefits and not reporting the income to the unemployment agency
  • Filing and collecting benefits under a false name
  • Falsifying employment information in order to be eligible for unemployment benefits
  • Falsifying information regarding your efforts to find employment

Because unemployment benefits are paid out by the government, the efforts by the state of Arizona have intensified the efforts to reduce and catch those who are suspected of committing unemployment fraud. 

In conjunction with concerted efforts by the state agencies, the insurance fraud penalties are severe to deter potential criminals and to punish the crime justly. The penalty for collecting unemployment while working and other UI fraud situations can result, if convicted, in a class 6 felony that is punishable by a maximum of:

  • Two years in prison
  • Three years of supervised probation
  • A fine of $150,000

As you can see, if you are facing charges regarding unemployment fraud, the potential outcome is nothing to joke around with. Having an experienced lawyer who understands the unemployment laws and has been on both sides of the courtroom aisle is crucial for your defense. 

While the prosecutor may have evidence showing that you provided false information (or withheld information), it becomes a tough job showing proof that you intentionally committed these actions in order to secure or increase the unemployment benefits. 

Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation and get the best criminal defense team on your side with Sonoran Law Group.