Bill would impose stricter penalties for unemployment compensation fraud

Lawmakers in the Florida House of Representatives are reportedly working on passing a bill that would address weaknesses in the current law addressing unemployment compensation fraud. The bill, which has been unanimously passed by the House Economic Development and Tourism Subcommittee, imposes stricter penalties for violations.

Of particular concern are cases of unemployment fraud based on identity theft. The Department of Opportunity, which is responsible for handling unemployment claims, recorded 9,600 claims of unemployment fraud based on identity theft in 2013, and the problem is said to have become worse. 

The bill would increase the length of time an individual who attempts fraud is barred from pursuing unemployment benefits. The measure would also increase penalties from one year to five years upon a first offense. A second offense would be increased to 10 years, and a third offense would result in a lifetime ban. Another change is that the definition of “racketeering activity” under the state’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO) would be changed to include unemployment benefits fraud.

According to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, unemployment benefits fraud—or reemployment assistance fraud—is defined as knowingly making any false statement or failing to disclose a material fact in order to obtain or prevent payment of benefits in violation of Reemployment Assistance law. This form of fraud can take various forms, including intentionally failing to report earned wages or misrepresenting the reason for unemployment.

In our next post, we’ll continue looking at unemployment compensation fraud and why those faced with such charges should work with an experienced criminal defense attorney

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  • Badge 1
  • Badge 2
  • Badge 3
  • Badge 4
  • Badge 5
  • Badge 6
  • Badge 7
  • Badge 8

Contact O'Brien Hatfield, PA for a free case evaluation today

In Tampa, call (813) 345-4909. In Orlando, call (888) 496-5916 . For fast answers, email us using the form below.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

This site uses Google's Invisible reCAPTCHA, which is subject to Google's Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Footer Brand

Tampa Bay Office
511 West Bay Street Suite 330
Tampa, FL 33606

Toll Free: 888-496-5916
Phone: 813-345-4909
Tampa Law Office Map

Central Florida Office
121 South Orange Avenue Suite 1500
Orlando, FL 32801

Toll Free: 888-496-5916
Phone: 407-686-1696
Orlando Law Office Map

South Florida Office
Northbridge Tower
515 North Flagler Drive
Suite P-300
West Palm Beach, FL 33401

Toll Free: 888-496-5916
Phone: 407-686-1696
South Florida Office Map

South Florida Office
Brickell Bay Office Tower
1001 Brickell Bay Drive
Suite 2700 M-1
Miami, FL 33131

Toll Free: 888-496-5916
Phone: 305-859-0046
Miami Law Office Map