Many Pennsylvania residents will need to take advantage of unemployment benefits at some point in their lives. Unemployment benefits exist to provide a means of financial support when a person loses his or her job. There are rules associated with those benefits, however, and failure to abide by those rules can lead to serious repercussions, up to and including federal fraud charges.
An example is found in the case of a man who is accused of stealing more than $100,000 in unemployment benefits. Authorities allege that the man filed for and received those benefits while he was employed. The benefits were collected over a four-year period, during which time the man was allegedly employed on a full-time basis.
The 54-year-old man has been charged with mail fraud, which carries serious punitive measures if a conviction is attained. If he is found guilty, he could be sentenced to as many as 20 years in prison. He might also be forced to pay back the amount that was received.
A plea agreement has been filed by the Department of Justice, but it is unclear whether that agreement will be accepted and put into motion. If the deal is accepted, the Pennsylvania man will admit guilt in the matter and pay back the full amount of benefits that were received over a four-year span of time. His legal team is likely reviewing that offer to determine if the details are in his best interests, or if they should proceed forward with a trial for the mail fraud charges.
Source: wgal.com, "Man accused of collecting $100,000 in unemployment while he had job", Jan. 5, 2016