When you apply for workers compensation, it is absolutely vital that you tell the truth. Failing to disclose information or making misrepresentations can lead to you being slapped with serious fraud charges.
What is Worker’s Compensation Fraud?
Workers compensation fraud occurs when you knowingly make a false statement of material fact for the purposes of obtaining workers compensation benefits.
According to N.J.S.A. 34:15-57.4:
“A person shall be guilty of a crime of the fourth degree if the person purposely or knowingly: (1) Makes, when making a claim for benefits pursuant to R.S. 34:15-1 et seq., a false or misleading statement, representation or submission concerning any fact that is material to that claim for the purpose of wrongfully obtaining the benefits; (2) Makes a false or misleading statement, representation or submission, including a misclassification of employees, or engages in a deceptive leasing practice, for the purpose of evading the full payment of benefits or premiums pursuant to R.S. 34:15-1 et seq.; or (3) Coerces, solicits or encourages, or employs or contracts with a person to coerce, solicit or encourage, any individual to make a false or misleading statement, representation or submission concerning any fact that is material to a claim for benefits or the payment of benefits or premiums, pursuant to R.S. 34:15-1 et seq. for the purpose of wrongfully obtaining the benefits or of evading the full payment of the benefits or premiums.”
In plain English, this statute makes it a crime for you to make a misrepresentation for the purpose of wrongfully obtaining benefits or withholding benefits or premiums regarding workers’ compensation.
Penalties for Committing Workers Compensation Fraud
If you received workers compensation benefits when you were not truly entitled to them, you will be forced to repay the total amount of benefits you wrongfully received in addition to simple interest to your employer or the carrier.
Aside from that, workers compensation fraud is a fourth degree crime in New Jersey. If convicted, you can go to jail for up to 18 months and be forced to pay a fine of up to $10,000.
Common Ways People Commit Workers Compensation Fraud
There are certain specifics actions that automatically rise to the level of fraud in New Jersey. For example, if you misrepresent previous trauma or treatment or your job status while collecting temporary disability benefits, this will constitute workers compensation fraud.
Likewise, by filing a claim for an injury that did not happen while you were on the job or simply had no genuine relation to being on the job will amount to fraud. Lastly, knowingly misrepresenting you physical condition for the purposes of obtaining workers compensation benefits will also count as fraud.
If you are facing fraud charges, your freedom and liberty are on the line. Be sure to contact an experienced NJ criminal defense attorney.
Who Should You Contact?
If you were recently charged with workers compensation fraud, contact Adam H. Rosenblum of The Rosenblum Law Firm today. Mr. Rosenblum is a skilled criminal defense attorney who has helped people in similar situations. He will defend your constitutional rights and do what he can to have your charges dismissed. E-mail or call him today at 888-815-3649.