If I heard I am being investigated for payroll fraud, do I need to hire a criminal defense lawyer?

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If I heard I am being investigated for payroll fraud, do I need to hire a criminal defense lawyer?

In Essex County MA.

Asked on January 7, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Do you "need" to, in the sense that you are required by law to have an attorney? No. SHOULD you have an attorney--yes. "Payroll fraud" can have criminal consequences for you--depending on the amount, it could easily be a felony (more than 1 year in jail). It can have civil consequences--you can be sued for the return of any money you took. It can have tax consequences (you had income not reported), which can lead to further civil and criminal consequences. Even if you believe yourself innocent, you do not take this lightly. Get a lawyer right away, and don't speak to anyone about it until you've spoken to your lawyer first. Good luck.


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