2009: A Big Year for New York Unemployment Fraud

The Tonawanda News reports that in 2009 76 people from Western New York were arrested for fraudulently collecting unemployment benefits. These suspects were largely collecting unemployment while also steadily collecting paychecks, taking advantage of the State’s unemployment insurance trust fund.

Each case resulted in an average theft of $4,262.70 according to the report and added up to a total of $323,965 in losses. The majority of the Western New York cases came out of Erie County, where the cost was $220,000.

With unemployment high over the past several years, unemployment fraud has also risen. More and more people think they can slide under the radar with so many cases coming across the desks of the Labor Department.

According to Governor Paterson the state made a unified effort, however, to uncover these cases in 2009. This effort reportedly saved businesses more than $35 million.

White collar crime, like fraud, is quite common and often goes undetected. It is called white collar crime because the core crimes included in this category are typically committed by professional people.

Both fraud and theft are most often committed when a person sees the opportunity for financial gain. Most times the offense is committed when the person thinks they won’t get caught. They often believe their plan is fool proof.

Despite the confidence felt by people who partake in white collar crime, they are being caught more and more as departments establish units committed only to this type of crime. With the evolution of technology, the sophistication of these offenses grows, as does the investigation of them by police.

If you are facing charges of theft, fraud, identity theft, or even bad checks, you may be up against a lengthy prison sentence or a permanent criminal record.

Going up against the state of New York in court can be very intimidating, especially if you are accused of stealing from the state itself. If you are facing charges and need help, call me today for a free consultation.

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