Welfare fraud takes place when people make false statements or fail to report important information when applying for these types of public programs in order to receive benefits to which they are not otherwise entitled. In Massachusetts, the Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC) provides cash and health insurance to needy families with dependent children, including pregnant women to help families meet their basic needs. Some common types of welfare fraud include failing to report a household member, claiming one or more imaginary dependents, failure to report income, or providing false information about the "inability" to work. People take advantage of the good-natured system to acquire welfare benefits they are not qualified for. Instances of welfare fraud have become more prevalent in recent years, as the economy continues to produce negative results and Americans feel the pressure of unemployment and lay offs. The Boston Herald reports that nearly $2 million in taxpayer-funded Massachusetts welfare has been fraudulently claimed since the beginning of 2012. The Bureau of Special Investigations has identified many people who took advantage of welfare, food stamps, health care, housing, and childcare services, including a Boston man charged with using a fake name to scam food stamps and an Athol woman who hauled in $58,000 in bogus EBT card benefits, officials said. In Massachusetts, the Bureau of Special Investigations (BSI), part of the State Auditor's Office, is in charge of fraud prevention for public assistance programs, but reports of welfare fraud may be reported through anonymous hot lines, welfare recipients and welfare agencies. Massachusetts welfare fraud charges can result in a harmful misdemeanor or felony convictions, therefore it is important to hire a qualified Massachusetts welfare fraud criminal defense attorney to protect your rights and to pursue alternative methods of restitution that do not involve criminal charges. Therefore, it is important to contact your lawyer right away after being notified that you are being investigated in any way. Government welfare agencies in Massachusetts have discretion when filing considering filing charges against alleged offenders.Penalties Associated With Welfare Fraud
Many jurisdictions view welfare fraud as a serious criminal offense, and those convicted the crime face both civil and criminal penalties. If you are accused of welfare fraud, contact a Massachusetts attorney experienced in welfare fraud defense, and seek professional advice before proceeding with your case. In some instances, early intervention by a lawyer may prevent the loss of welfare benefits or the filing of criminal charges. Those who are convicted of welfare fraud may face harsh penalties such as probation, fines, restitution, and even possibly a prison sentence. In many cases, being able to make restitution for all or a substantial part of the money may provide you with leniency from the court and in some cases, may even result in the dismissal of the case after payment is made. Also, there are opportunities to reduce payment obligations or make reduced payment arrangements to resolve you case if you are charged in court with welfare fraud.Attorney Patrick J. Murphy - The Wise Choice in Welfare Fraud Defense
Whatever difficult dilemma you face, the Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy is here to help. Speaking with a qualified Boston Massachusetts welfare fraud defense lawyer may ease the stress and tension you feel, and also ensure that your rights are protected from beginning to end. As a dedicated criminal defense attorney, Patrick J. Murphy, Esq. has been instrumental in the vigorous defense of his clients throughout Massachusetts for over 18 years. At the Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy, our Massachusetts welfare fraud defense firm investigates the details of each welfare fraud case thoroughly and strives to construct the most persuasive defense strategy to reduce or eliminate criminal exposure. Ensure your rights are protected and your freedom is secure; contact the Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy 24/7 by calling (617) 367-0450 or submitting the online contact form directly to our office.