The Sanders Firm, P.C.: Welfare Fraud

In New York City, The Sanders Firm, P.C. defends those who have been accused of offenses involving property, including welfare fraud. Welfare fraud, which is under Article 158 New York Penal Law, involves someone obtaining welfare benefits in an unlawful manner. Welfare fraud in the fifth degree is a class A misdemeanor. Welfare fraud includes the basic act of committing fraud, criminal use of a public benefit card, and illegal possession of public benefit cards.

Welfare Fraud

Welfare fraud in the fourth degree is a class E felony and involves receiving public assistance benefits worth more than $1,000. Unlawfully receiving benefits worth more than $3,000 defines welfare fraud in the third degree, which is a class D felony. When someone receives public assistance, benefits worth more than $50,000 that action constitutes Welfare fraud in the second degree. That is a class C. felony. Welfare fraud in the first degree, a class B felony, occurs when the benefits are worth more than one million dollars.

Fraud and Benefit Card Criminal Use

The misuse of a public benefit card is also a crime. Various acts constitute the criminal use of a public benefit card. It is illegal to accept a benefit card for collateral or security for repayment of a loan, property, or services. It is also unlawful to obtain a public benefit card in exchange for a benefit or to exchange a public benefit card for money, a controlled substance, or with the intention of committing an act that is unlawful. These are all class A misdemeanors and are considered to be criminal use of a public benefit card in the second degree.

The criminal use of a public benefit card in the second degree, which is a class E felony, involves the use or transfer of three or more public benefit cards in the manner described above.

Criminal Possession

It is a felony to be involved in the criminal possession of public benefit cards. There are three different degrees regarding this act, with criminal possession of public benefit cards in the third degree being a class E felony. The article states, “A person is guilty of criminal possession of public benefit cards in the third degree when he or she with intent to defraud, deceive or injure another, knowingly possesses five or more public benefit cards in a name or names other than the person`s own name.”

For criminal possession of public benefit cards in the second degree (class D felony) a person must possess ten or more cards and for criminal possession of public benefit cards in the third degree (class C felony) must possess twenty-five of more public benefit cards.

Your Rights

The Sanders Firm, P.C. in New York believes if you are charged under Article 158 New York Penal Law that you should preserve your Miranda rights, speak with a lawyer prior to answering any questions, and have your attorney present during any questioning. Your rights are protected under the United States Constitution and everyone is considered innocent until the charges against them are proven in a court of law.

Contact The Sanders Firm, P.C.

If you have been arrested for Welfare fraud under Article 158 New York Penal Law, call The Sanders Firm, P.C. We will meet with you in consultation and be on-hand when you’re questioned by law enforcement. The criminal law system of New York is a complex and confusing conglomeration of laws, rules, and regulations. Having professional legal representation is important. Contact The Sanders Firm, P.C. if you have been charged with Welfare fraud or any crime involving property. We are your voice for justice.