What is food stamp fraud? Well, many people think that lying on the application to receive benefits is receiving assistance through fraud. While it is one way that you can be deceptive to the Job and Family Services division, there are other ways too. What if you sold your benefits to obtain cash or to pay a landlord for rent? Those are also considered to be fraudulent transactions. There are many ways that you can commit fraud against the government through the food stamp program. Unfortunately, many people get caught. You could go to jail or even prison if the amount is over $100.
People In Queens Depend on SNAP Benefits
In Queens, New York, and surrounding areas, there are more than 1.8 million people that depend on the SNAP program. For many, this is the only way they have to provide their home with nourishment. While the amounts are usually very small, still there is fraudulent activity that is found within the system. There are more than 500,000 people that are at or below the poverty line in this borough, which is around 16 percent. Many people cannot pay their rent, do not have transportation, and struggle to make ends meet. Selling or using their food stamps for other things is often an option that seems reasonable. However, many people are in trouble because they either lied to obtain benefits or they used them in a fraudulent manner.
What To Do When You Have Been Accused Of Food Stamp Fraud?
The government uses internal auditing measures to weed out those that are obtaining benefits illegally. If you have been accused of food stamp fraud, it is imperative that you have legal representation throughout the process. First, we will see the exact charges and proof they have against you. By obtaining a copy of the discovery, we will know how to proceed. Could it be a case as simple as you did not report a change in income or someone moved in or out of the home?
If it was an erroneous act such as this, then these are often easier to overcome. It is harder to make a defense when you sold your stamps for cash than an error of omission. Also, a grocery store that gives clients refunds in exchange for their stamps can be in serious trouble too. No matter what you are facing, we know the laws regarding these matters. We have helped hundreds of clients face their charges for food stamp fraud and put this nightmare behind them. We use the law to help you win.
Do not think that you can handle this case on your own. The prosecutor wants to recuperate the money and make you pay for your wrongdoing. In many cases, a person will receive a probationary sentence and pay a fine in addition to restitution. However, it depends on the case and the dollar amount of the fraud.
The Disqualification Hearing
If an agency believes that you have committed fraud, they will request a disqualification hearing. It is the responsibility of the agency to prove that you intentionally committed fraud. If they can prove that you did commit a crime, they can suspend benefits for a period of time. When the amount is significant, they may also seek criminal charges. One way to avoid legal action is to give up the benefits and skip the disqualification hearing. While this may look like an easy way out, it can leave you wide open to criminal charges. We help you decide the proper way to proceed.
Why Spodek Law Group Can Help?
We are patient and encouraging to all of our clients. We know that you are going through a difficult time, and we are here to make it better. We use the highest degree of professionalism, yet, we are warm and attentive to your needs. With our unequaled professionalism, we fight for you. We know that being charged with a crime is very serious. However, when you have questions we take the time for you. We are a phone call or text away.
Our firm has a combined knowledge of more than 50 years in the business. Our strategies come from our vast experience. We are driven, experienced professionals that work hard for our clients. In many cases, our clients are innocent. However, even if you did have some wrongdoing, we can maneuver the law in your favor. When you are flustered and stressed about a legal situation, we have your back. Call us and schedule a consultation. We will review the facts of your case and formulate a plan.
Do not sit around and wonder about all the what-ifs. You need leadership from someone who knows the ins and outs of the legal system and how to ensure you get a fair deal.