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False Statements to Obtain Unemployment Benefits



Understanding False Statements to Obtain Unemployment Benefits

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Florida, like many states, has seen a significant rise in unemployment claims. With this surge has come an increase in the scrutiny of claims, leading to a rise in accusations of making false statements to obtain unemployment benefits. At Leppard Law, we understand the complexities of these cases and the serious implications they can carry.

The CARES Act, enacted to provide relief during the pandemic, expanded eligibility for unemployment benefits and increased the amount of assistance available. However, this expansion also led to a spike in the instances of alleged fraud, as individuals navigated the complexities of the newly adjusted system.

What constitutes making a false statement to obtain unemployment benefits in Florida? It involves knowingly making a false statement or failing to disclose a material fact to obtain or increase unemployment benefits.

Common examples of actions that could lead to accusations include not reporting income while collecting benefits, using someone else’s identity to apply for benefits, or falsely claiming one is unemployed when they are, in fact, working. These actions can result in charges under Florida Statute Section 443.071(1), classified as a third-degree felony, potentially leading to significant legal penalties, including imprisonment and fines.

Given the severe consequences of a conviction, it’s crucial to have experienced Orlando Fraud Defense Attorneys on your side. Leppard Law’s team of dedicated lawyers brings a wealth of experience and a personalized approach to each case, ensuring your rights are protected throughout the legal process. If you’re facing accusations of making false statements to obtain unemployment benefits, we encourage you to reach out for a consultation.

Leppard Law Team

Our approach to defending against such charges involves a thorough examination of the evidence, identifying any potential weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, and exploring all available defense strategies. Whether it’s challenging the evidence’s admissibility, negotiating for reduced charges, or fighting for your rights in court, our goal is to achieve the best possible outcome for our clients.

At Leppard Law, we understand the stress and uncertainty that come with facing criminal charges. That’s why we’re committed to providing not only top-notch legal representation but also the support and guidance you need during this challenging time. Contact us today at 407-476-4141 to learn how we can help you navigate the complexities of your case and work towards a favorable resolution.

Common Examples and Increased Fraud During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has not only been a health crisis but also a catalyst for an unprecedented increase in unemployment fraud across Florida. The economic strain, compounded by the expanded benefits under the CARES Act, created fertile ground for fraudulent activities related to unemployment benefits.

What are some common examples of unemployment fraud? They range from not reporting part-time earnings, using another person’s identity, to falsifying the reason for job separation.

As the pandemic wreaked havoc on the economy, many found themselves navigating the unemployment benefits system for the first time. This surge in applications, combined with the urgency to distribute funds, unfortunately, led to increased opportunities for fraud.

Scenarios of Unemployment Fraud

  • Not Reporting Income: Individuals returning to work but continuing to claim unemployment benefits without reporting their income.
  • Identity Theft: Using someone else’s information to apply for benefits, a serious offense that can lead to additional charges.
  • Misrepresentation: Providing false information or withholding material facts during the application process.
  • Under-reporting Earnings: Collecting more benefits than allowed by not accurately reporting part-time or temporary work earnings.

The consequences of these actions are severe, with charges potentially leading to felony convictions. It underscores the importance of having a knowledgeable Orlando Fraud Defense Attorney to navigate the complexities of these accusations.

Fraud Defense Strategies

At Leppard Law, our team is adept at handling cases of unemployment fraud, leveraging our extensive experience to protect our clients’ rights. We understand the nuances of the law and the serious implications of these charges. If you’re facing accusations of unemployment fraud, especially in the turbulent times following the COVID-19 pandemic, contact us at 407-476-4111. Let us help you navigate through this challenging situation with the expertise and dedication you deserve.

Penalties for Making False Statements in Florida

In Florida, the consequences of making false statements to obtain unemployment benefits are severe and can have long-lasting impacts on individuals’ lives. These actions are not taken lightly, and the law classifies such offenses as third-degree felonies. This classification underlines the seriousness with which the state views unemployment fraud, especially in light of the increased instances during the COVID-19 pandemic.

What does it mean to be convicted of a third-degree felony in Florida? It means facing potential penalties including imprisonment of up to 5 years, fines up to $5,000, and a permanent criminal record.

Given the stakes, it’s crucial to understand not just the immediate penalties but also the broader implications. A felony conviction can affect employment opportunities, eligibility for public benefits, and even voting rights. The ripple effects extend far beyond the courtroom, impacting nearly every aspect of a person’s life.

Aggravated Felonies and Immigration Consequences

For non-U.S. citizens, the consequences can be even more dire. Fraud cases involving amounts over $10,000 or those that include identity theft are not just felonies; they’re classified as aggravated felonies. This classification has significant immigration implications, including potential deportation, inadmissibility, and denial of naturalization.

  • Deportation: Individuals may be forced to leave the U.S., separating families and ending careers.
  • Inadmissibility: After leaving, re-entry into the U.S. becomes extremely difficult, if not impossible.
  • Naturalization Denial: The path to becoming a U.S. citizen can be blocked, dashing hopes of fully integrating into American society.

Given these potential outcomes, it’s clear that accusations of unemployment fraud are not to be taken lightly. Whether you’re facing charges or are concerned about actions that may lead to accusations, it’s vital to seek knowledgeable legal advice. At Leppard Law: Fraud Defense Attorneys, we understand the gravity of these situations and are committed to providing our clients with the robust defense they need. If you’re navigating the complexities of unemployment fraud charges, call us at 407-476-4111 for a consultation. Let our expertise be your guide through this challenging time.


When faced with accusations of unemployment fraud, the path forward may seem daunting. However, understanding the common defenses and legal procedures can offer a beacon of hope. The complexity of these cases necessitates a nuanced approach, tailored to the unique circumstances of each situation.

Common Defense Strategies

One of the primary defenses in unemployment fraud cases is the lack of knowledge or intent. This defense hinges on the argument that the accused was unaware that the statements made were false or did not intentionally seek to deceive. Here are a few strategies that might be employed:

  • Mistake of Fact: Demonstrating that any incorrect information provided was due to a misunderstanding or error, and not an attempt to defraud.
  • Lack of Intent: Arguing that there was no intention to commit fraud. This might involve showing that any false statements were made inadvertently.
  • Insufficient Evidence: Challenging the prosecution’s case by proving that the evidence is not strong enough to meet the legal standard of beyond a reasonable doubt.

These defenses are not exhaustive but highlight the importance of a tailored defense strategy.

The legal journey following an accusation of unemployment fraud involves several key stages, from the initial accusation to potential trial. Following an accusation, the accused may face formal charges, leading to arraignment and, possibly, trial. Throughout this process, the role of an experienced defense attorney becomes crucial.

An attorney can navigate the complex legal landscape, ensuring that the accused’s rights are protected every step of the way. From gathering evidence to negotiating with prosecutors, a skilled lawyer can make a significant difference in the outcome of a case. Specifically, a defense attorney can work towards:

  • Dismissal of Charges: In some cases, an attorney can argue for the charges to be dropped altogether, especially if there’s insufficient evidence or if the accused’s rights were violated during the investigation.
  • Reduction of Penalties: Even if a dismissal isn’t possible, an attorney may negotiate reduced penalties, minimizing the impact of the charges on the accused’s life.
  • Exploring Alternative Resolutions: In some situations, alternatives to traditional prosecution, such as pre-trial diversion programs, may be an option, allowing the accused to avoid a criminal record.

At Leppard Law: Fraud Defense Attorneys, we understand the stakes involved in unemployment fraud cases. Our team is equipped with the knowledge and experience to provide a robust defense for our clients, aiming for the best possible outcome. If you’re facing accusations of unemployment fraud, don’t navigate this challenging time alone. Call us at 407-476-4111 for a consultation and let us put our expertise to work for you.

Legal Defense Strategies


Infographic depicting the words False Statements to Obtain Unemployment Benefits

What constitutes making false statements to obtain unemployment benefits?

Making false statements to obtain unemployment benefits involves knowingly providing incorrect information or omitting crucial details to receive payments. This includes:

  • Not reporting employment or income while collecting benefits.
  • Claiming benefits for weeks when you were employed.
  • Using someone else’s identity to apply for benefits.

What are the penalties for making false statements to obtain unemployment benefits in Florida?

The penalties for making false statements to obtain unemployment benefits in Florida can include:

  • Repayment of improperly received benefits.
  • Fines and penalties.
  • Criminal charges, potentially leading to imprisonment.

How can you report suspected unemployment benefits fraud in Florida?

To report suspected unemployment benefits fraud in Florida, you can contact the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) directly through their website or by phone. Reporting can help prevent misuse of the system and ensure resources are available for those in need.

What defense strategies can be used against accusations of unemployment fraud?

Defense strategies against accusations of unemployment fraud may include:

  • Proving lack of intent to commit fraud.
  • Demonstrating errors were made in good faith.
  • Challenging the evidence presented by the prosecution.

Working with an experienced defense attorney can help navigate these defenses effectively.

Other Practice Areas We Serve

In addition to defending against false statements to obtain unemployment benefits, we offer a wide range of legal services to meet the diverse needs of our clients in Florida. Explore our expertise in related practice areas:

Orlando Fraud Defense Attorneys EIDL Fraud Defense Lawyers
Workers’ Compensation Fraud Orlando Medicaid Fraud Defense Lawyers
Filing False Documents PPP Fraud
Fraudulent ID for Employment Health Care Fraud in Florida
PIP Fraud Cases in Florida Insurance Fraud Defense
Mortgage Fraud Defense in Florida Florida Welfare Fraud Defense Lawyers
The Federal Crime of Tax Evasion Fraudulent Use of Credit Cards
Florida Credit Card Fraud Defense Lawyers Florida Telemarketing Fraud Defense Lawyers

Top-Rated Lawyers Serving Florida

Choosing the right legal representation is crucial when facing charges. A seasoned attorney, committed to your defense, ensures you’re equipped to make informed decisions at every stage. Our team of top-rated lawyers is dedicated to providing the best possible defense for your case.

  • John Vallillo: Known for his meticulous attention to detail and unwavering commitment to clients, John Vallillo offers personalized and effective legal representation.
  • Joe Easton: Specializing in challenging evidence and negotiating favorable outcomes, Joe Easton’s dedication to justice is evident in every case he handles.
  • Joel Leppard: With a strategic approach to legal defense, Joel Leppard has achieved numerous case dismissals and reduced charges, ensuring the best possible outcomes for his clients.

Discover What Our Clients Are Saying

Our dedication to excellence in legal defense is evident in every case we undertake. The positive feedback from our clients is a testament to the hard work and dedication we consistently deliver.



Infographic depicting the words False Statements to Obtain Unemployment Benefits

Secure Your Future with Leppard Law

Being accused of making false statements to obtain unemployment benefits can be a daunting experience, one that threatens your reputation and financial stability. However, you don’t have to navigate this challenging time alone. At Leppard Law: Fraud Defense Attorneys, we understand the intricacies of these cases and are committed to providing you with the personalized and effective defense you deserve.

Our approach is not just about legal representation; it’s about building a personal relationship with you. We see our clients as family, ensuring that you have a dedicated advocate who knows you as well as they know your case. Our team, led by highly skilled attorneys, leverages their extensive experience, including insights from former prosecutors, to craft your strongest defense.

But our commitment doesn’t stop at the courtroom door. We’re equipped with cutting-edge technology to ensure efficient and responsive communication, so you’re always informed about your case. Our goal is to make this process as painless as possible, providing support and legal expertise when you need it most.

Leppard Law has been recognized for its dedication to clients and excellence in legal defense, as evidenced by our inclusion in prestigious awards and “best of” lists. These acknowledgments reflect our unwavering commitment to achieving the best outcomes for our clients:

If you or a loved one are facing charges related to false statements to obtain unemployment benefits, now is the time to act. Contact Leppard Law: Fraud Defense Attorneys today at 407-476-4111 to schedule your free consultation. Experience the difference of having a team that treats you like family and fights tirelessly for your rights. Let us provide the support and legal expertise you deserve during this critical time.

Legally Reviewed by Joe Easton

Expert Attorney

Legally reviewed by Joe Easton and the content team, this article reflects the firm’s 60 years of combined experience in criminal defense. Joe Easton, renowned for his strategic expertise in DUI and criminal defense, not only offers legal representation but a commitment to transforming legal challenges into victories. His approach marries courtroom tenacity with personalized client care, ensuring your case is championed with unparalleled dedication and expertise.

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