The state of California is taking bold steps to crack down on unemployment insurance fraud. The Employment Development Department (EDD) and the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) Fraud Task Force recently announced that former United States Attorney McGregor W. Scott will help ramp up efforts to recover fraudulently paid benefits.
“California took broad action last year to identify and stop criminal unemployment fraud from continuing—and with McGregor Scott's aid, we are taking another major step toward empowering prosecutors to crack down on those who engaged in this criminal activity,” said California EDD Director Rita Saenz.
An unprecedented number of people became unemployed during the pandemic. In response to an increased number of fraudulent unemployment claims related to COVID-19, the EDD implemented safeguards to crack down on identity theft and other forms of unemployment insurance fraud. Even with these additional strategies in place, the EDD says they have thousands of fraud cases to investigate and bring to justice.
Defending Against Fraudulent Unemployment Benefits Charges
There are many instances in which unemployment benefits fraud charges might arise. Something as simple as earning income under the table can warrant legal action from the state. Improperly collecting benefits after becoming employed is another all too common violation. Others face consequences after failing to report changes in employment circumstances to state agencies or from collecting benefits while living in a state other than California.
No matter what circumstances led to unemployment benefits fraud charges being brought against you, it's important to understand the stakes. Prison time, fines, and a permanent mark on your criminal record are likely if a person is convicted. The state will also require you to pay back your benefits. Obtaining housing, employment, and future state benefits will also become more challenging. That's why it's important not to take on such serious charges without a qualified California criminal defense attorney on your side.
You Deserve an Experienced Federal Criminal Defense Attorney
If you're facing federal criminal charges in the state of California, you'll need an experienced defense attorney to represent you in court. For years, the Sigal Law Group has helped aggressively defend our clients in federal court – let us help you, too. Call us at 818-325-0570 to schedule your free consultation.