What are the penalties for welfare fraud

Asked over 2 years ago - Wilkes Barre, PA

For the last year and a half my fiance have been going through a really rough time for money. Aug 2010 his employer laid him off then claimed he quit so he never got UC benefits. In the mean time I was working in the same town as a cashier but lived an hour away so ends werent met. We started getting his UC benefits in Feb 2011 but once again the employer claimed he quit and they were stopped until Jan 2012. I applied for food stamps and were approved. We had massive bills pile up because of the UC issue and I never reported my fiances new job he started in may 2011. Now they are looking into it. What they use to calculate eligibilty would make us ineligible but we had so many bills because of someone else's ignorance. I just really needed the help to get us back on our feet. Any thoughts?

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Bradley Joseph Osborne

    Contributor Level 10


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . If the government can show that you were knowingly receiving assistance and not reporting your household income properly there is a chance that yo will be charged with welfare fraud. The level of the offense can vary depending upon the amount of assistance you received illicitly.

    The penalty for the offense of welfare fraud ranges from probation to jail depending on severity and past criminal history. It is likely that you will be ordered to pay restitution to the state (pay back the amount of fraudulent funds you took).

    This answer only speaks generally to the crime of welfare fraud itself and not directly to your case. Hope it helps you understand. If you are being charged you should immediately contact a local criminal defense attorney with experience defending these cases.

    Best of Luck!

  2. Jerry Robert Knafo


    Contributor Level 9


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Welfare fraud is a serious charge. Your fiancé is looking at fines/imprisonment depending upon the circumstances. He needs to retain a lawyer ASAP.

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