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Unemployment fraud investigations on the rise in New Jersey: confusion and bad information likely cause March 12, 2010

Posted by jefhenningeresq in Articles.
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The amount of unemployment fraud cases I have been involved in here in New Jersey has dramatically increased.  I have cases involving small amounts and large amounts, cases where my client has already been indicted and some where no one has even contacted my client yet.  So, I thought that I would share some more information as this situation is likely to continue for years to come.

Miscommunication and Confusion

Have you tried to call the New Jersey unemployment office lately?  Good luck getting anyone on the phone.  However, if you do get someone on the phone, you may get bad information.  I’ve had several people call me who are now involved in an unemployment fraud investigation when they thought that they did everything the right way.  Confusion often arises with people are who self-employed, working part-time on and off and who are working on a per-diem or contract basis.  Whether they should continue claiming unemployment benefits in New Jersey and how these situations should be handled leads to confusion.  The worst part is, when some people call the New Jersey Unemployment Office for advice, they are either given wrong information or there is a miscommunication.  As a result, they may wind up being investigated months or even years later.

Legal Assistance

Keep in mind that anything you say to anyone at the unemployment office can and will be used against you if you are prosecuted.  Thus, an attorney speaks for you so that the case can be resolved before you incriminate yourself.  As innocent as your explanation may sound to you, to an investigator it may be taken as an admission of guilt.  Besides speaking for you, an attorney can also help prevent you from being prosecuted. 

While every case is different, two of my cases provide a great example of how a New Jersey unemployment fraud defense lawyer can help.  One client owes over $45,000.  We are trying to work out a payment plan at the moment but he will not be prosecuted.  Another client just hired me yesterday that owes about $25,000.  He has been indicted and we had court today.  What’s the difference?  The first client came to me the moment there was any indication of a problem.  The second client tried to handle it by himself, confessed and could not resolve it.  I am now in the case at the last minute. 

Thus, while you may not “need” a lawyer, getting one at the first sign of trouble may be the best investment you ever make.   Not only can you save money by avoiding court appearances and litigation, but you can keep your name out of the paper.  The New Jersey Attorney General’s Office often publishes the names of those charged with unemployment fraud.  Of course, if you are never charged, your name will not appear along with everyone else who was charged. 

Whether your unemployment fraud case was the result of intentional wrong-doing or an accident, give me a call to discuss how I can help protect you from criminal charges and a criminal record.

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