We receive many questions such as, “Can I be arrested for unemployment insurance fraud?” The short answer is yes. As a matter of fact, according to the New York State Department of Labor, there were 159 arrests made in 2009 in New York City alone for unemployment insurance benefits fraud. In total, $800,122 was stolen from the NYS Unemployment Insurance fund.
UI fraud in New York is investigated by the Department of Labor and cases singled out for criminal prosecutions are referred to either local DA offices or the Office of the Attorney General for further action. In 2009 there were 55 UI fraud arrests made in Manhattan, followed by 35 in Brooklyn, 33 in Queens, 25 in the Bronx, and 11 in Staten Island.
If criminally prosecuted, unemployment insurance fraud is normally charged as a felony.