Food Stamp fraud in New York City has been in fraud investigators’ sights for years, but the recent HRA policy changes made thousands of New Yorkers the target of aggressive investigations, and in many cases criminal prosecutions. If you or a family member is being targeted for Food Stamps Fraud, call us
What is Food Stamp Fraud
If you apply for food stamps (NYS Supplemental Nutrition Program (SNAP)) in New York City and provide false information on your application, the state will contend you have committed fraud. The most common example of food stamps fraud is failure to disclose household income.
We have handled numerous food stamps fraud cases and the most common scenario that just keeps on recurring is when a couple separates with the husband living separately from the wife and kids. The wife applies for food stamps and only discloses her income but not her husbands’.
The problem is that even though they don’t live together, they are still considered one household unless they divorce or have a separation order signed by a judge. Even then, if the ex-husband supports the ex-wife and his children, this help needs to be disclosed. If you do not, New York considers it Food Stamps Fraud.
In other cases, applicants just don’t disclose their income and it’s just a matter of time before they are flagged. Especially, this happens a lot with City workers.
Did you receive an interview letter from the Bureau of Fraud Investigations?
The Bureau of Fraud Investigations of the NYC Human Resources Investigations is responsible for most food stamp investigations and prosecutions in New York City. When your case is flagged, and investigator will send you a letter asking you to appear for an “interview” and bring some documents. When you receive this letter, call our office immediately. Do not contact the investigator and of course, you should never speak with them as anything you give or tell them will be used against you if your case is prosecuted as a fraud case.
Unfortunately, we see time and again the unsuspecting people walking into the trap only to make their criminal fraud prosecution much more realistic and easier.
What If My Case is Prosecuted?
Providing false information on public benefits applications is a crime and if the amount lost to the City exceeds $1,000.00, you will be charged with Food Stamps Fraud, which is a felony. Of course, this requires the BFI to first refer the case to the District Attorney’s Office, something we always try to prevent. However, even if your case has been referred to the DA, not everything is lost.
Even at this stage we can significantly minimize your criminal exposure and in some cases even convince prosecutors not to file charges. If you receive a letter or a phone call from the District Attorney’s Office, call us immediately.
If you or someone you know have been accused of food stamps fraud , call our New York City food stamp fraud lawyers today for an immediate consultation.