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Couple charged with felony fraud over welfare payments

Filing for tax refunds, welfare and other such benefits can be a complicated process. Furthermore, if you misrepresent yourself, you could face criminal charges if your mistake is deemed intentional. Both defrauding the government and tax evasion are federal crimes carrying hefty penalties. Residents of South Carolina should take care in such matters and be prepared to state their case if facing federal investigation.

In Minnesota, a couple is currently being held in jail where they stand accused of felony fraud. The husband and wife allegedly claimed welfare payments and food stamps despite living in relative luxury. However, an attorney representing the husband describes him as being poverty-stricken.

Unfortunately for the couple, prosecutors claim that they have access to an expensive home and a $1 million yacht. They go on to suggest that the couple received $167,000 in welfare payments that they were not due. The couple were brought back from the Bahamas in order to face the fraud charge and are being held as flight risks. Furthermore, the wife has since had her $150,000 bail doubled to meet that of her husband.

Despite the allegations that the couple were wealthier than they admitted, this does not necessarily mean they were dishonest about their needs. The husband's attorney points out that the couple have been surviving on loans and gifts from people. He also notes that his client had been eligible to some extent for the benefits claimed.

Although this couple resides in another state, their plight can be felt by residents of South Carolina. Unless they can prove that their welfare claims were an honest mistake, they could be faced with severe penalties. If you find yourself in a similar position, you need to act quickly to protect yourself and your future. An attorney can help you sort through the facts and present your side of things to the court in a manner that displays you in the best possible light.

Source: CBS Minnesota, "Bail Doubled On Couple Facing Welfare Fraud Charges," Bill Hudson, April 18, 2014

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