Public Assistance Fraud Lawyer in Miami-Dade County
Handling Fraud Investigations in South Florida
With the current worsening economic downturn, the state agencies that oversee the distribution of public assistance benefits are taking a closer look at applicants, their specific circumstances, and payments made.
These agencies oversee many common public assistance benefits including:
- Food stamps
- Childcare benefits
If you or your family benefits from any of the above and you have been accused of fraud in relation to these needed payments, contact The Law Offices of Eric M. Matheny, P.A. for a free consultation.
What Is Public Assistance Fraud?
Public assistance fraud occurs when somebody applies for public assistance when they are not entitled to receive the benefits. This may mean failing to disclose or under-reporting employment, income, or assets. At random, these agencies will run applicants' social security numbers to see if the applicant is failing to disclose employment or income. These agencies - such as Department of Children and Families, Department of Economic Opportunity, and Department of Financial Services - have fraud investigators who then compile data on the applicants to submit to local law enforcement.
Welfare fraud, unemployment fraud, food stamp fraud, and childcare benefit fraud are four common types of public assistance fraud. In Florida, public assistance fraud is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison. However, prosecutors can also charge you with other felonies, such as grand theft, in addition to fraud.
In Broward County, Pretrial Intervention (PTI) is not available for public assistance fraud cases. In Miami-Dade County, PTI may be available if you have no prior criminal history, the investigator consents to your participation, and the total restitution amount is $5,000 or less. If you plead guilty or no contest to a fraud-related charge, you cannot seal that charge from your record.
Contacted by a State Agency? Talk to Eric M. Matheny First.
One of the first things a fraud investigator will do is attempt to speak to you. Attorney Matheny strongly encourages that you do not speak with them as they are putting together a criminal investigation and anything you say will be used as evidence against you. You have the right to refuse to speak with an investigator and should contact a Miami-Dade County public assistance fraud attorney if contacted by a representative from a state agency regarding allegations of fraud.
The Law Offices of Eric M. Matheny, P.A. has successfully represented clients charged with welfare fraud, unemployment fraud, food stamp fraud, and childcare benefit fraud. If you have been accused of a white collar crime in Broward County, Miami-Dade County, or other surrounding area in Miami-Dade County, do not wait until the last minute to receive dedicated legal counsel.
Contact our Miami-Dade County public assistance fraud lawyer at (305) 504-6655 to speak with Attorney Matheny and find out how our legal team can help defend you against such charges.
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