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

UPDATED: Jan 7, 2011

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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