Pennsylvania Section 8 Fraud Lawyers
Section 8 is a government program that offers housing assistance to low-income families. After applying for the program, you will be reviewed and then told whether you’re approved or denied. If you’re approved, then you will be told of an amount that can then be used toward a rental amount. With Section 8, you are free to find your own housing as long as the landlord will accept the voucher. This is a program that benefits many people, but it’s also one that involves quite a bit of fraud. In the event that you’re charged with Section 8 fraud, you need to seek the assistance of an attorney since this is a government program.
During the Great Depression, Section 8 was put in place in order to assist those who weren’t working and those who weren’t able to pay for their own housing. There are now millions of people who rely on the assistance that is offered from the program. If landlords don’t abide by the rules and regulations that are set forth by the Section 8 program, they can be charged just as voucher recipients can be charged with fraud. One way that landlords commit fraud is by reporting that the amount for rent is higher than what it really is in order to get more money. Another way would be for the landlord to report that utilities for the home are higher than what they really are as some landlords receive a separate payment for utilities along with the rental payment.
When you apply for Section 8, you have to provide personal information as well as income information. If you don’t report how much you make or report that you’re making less than what you really do, then you can be charged with fraud. You can also be charged with fraud if you include more people on the application than how many will actually be living in the home in order to get more assistance. Aside from fraud, you can also be charged with conspiracy, especially if you are working with the landlord to try to get more money from the government program. If you have a social worker who is trying to help you get approved for Section 8 assistance and the worker misrepresents the information that is reported, then the worker can be charged with fraud as well, especially if the worker encourages you to submit information that is false. The type of fraud committed will often play a factor in how severe your punishment is, which is why you need the assistance of an attorney in order to try to keep your sentence to a minimum.
Aside from giving false information to the Section 8 office, you can commit fraud by leaving off all of the details about other assistance that you receive. If there are any changes in your income or your family situation, then you have to report those changes as soon as possible. Most offices give you a certain amount of time to report changes, such as making more or less money or if someone moves into or out of the home.
If you’re charged with Section 8 fraud, then you could lose your benefits. There’s also a possibility that you will no longer be able to receive benefits in the future. You could be fined and have to pay back the money that was used for the vouchers that you received. You also face spending time in prison for the fraud that you committed. Others who assisted in committing the fraud can be prosecuted as well with punishments varying based on the involvement by the other party.