Eleven local Chicagoan are facing federal charges of unemployment fraud. While federal cases can be quite different than those levied by the state, a crime is a crime and the potential for prison time is bad no matter what court you’re in.
Fraud typically involves misrepresentation in order to gain financial benefit. According to this article from the Chicago Sun Times, the defendants are accused of defrauding anywhere from $15,000 to about $41,000 by claiming they were unemployed when they actually weren’t. Altogether, the 11 are said to have gotten more than $255, 000 from the Illinois Department of Employment Security.
There actual charges are of mail fraud and misdemeanor theft. Two of the defendants were employees of the Postal Service.
Despite their claims of unemployment, and in addition to those working for the U.S. Postal Service, the 11 included a bricklayer, an administrative support specialize, a maintenance mechanic, a box maker, and a truck driver, among other things.
Having represented people accused of fraud I often hear the same things—that they saw the opportunity and truly didn’t believe they would get caught. Oftentimes, people accused of fraud crimes have clean criminal records and are quite scared to realize they may go to jail for something they didn’t take too seriously.
Whether you are accused of lying on a credit application or writing bad checks, the more charges you have on your criminal record, the more likely you’ll be to serve some length of jail time if convicted.
Even bad checks can be a felony when the amount in question reaches a certain level. If you write a bad check for more than $301, you could be facing very serious felony charges in the state of Illinois.
When you are up against charges that call your integrity and your reputation into question, you need a criminal defense lawyer on your side, working to protect your rights.