How to handle fraudulent unemployment overpayments?

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How to handle fraudulent unemployment overpayments?

I collected 3 weeks of checks for the total of $993. The first week was a mistake, the 2nd and 3rd week was deliberate as I was behind in bills. I know this was wrong. I want to make it right, but it says TX prosecutes for fraud and this is fraud. I don’t want a record and I know it’s a small amount. I am willing to pay it back but what should I do. If it’s fraud and I admit it, will they prosecute or allow me to pay it back in payments? I haven’t recieved a notice yet. Should I contact them? I’m scared.

Asked on September 27, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You should look for a way to repay voluntarily; however, don't do it yourself. Contact an experienced attorney, one who deals with unemployment matters ideally, and discuss the case with him or her; alternately, discuss it with a criminal defense attorney. There are ways to come forward that will greatly reduce the potential liability--possibly even eliminate it, though you shouldn't count on eliminating it completely--but an experienced attorney will greatly increase your odds of doing this successfully. So, in answer: your instincts are right, both morally and legally, about what to do, but you don't want to do it yourself; you want an experienced professional to advise you, speak on your behalf as appropriate it, and otherwise represent you. Good luck.


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