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What Happens If You Lie About Your Overtime Hours In New Jersey?


Lying about your overtime hours might not seem like a big deal. After all, what’s the harm in adding a few hours to your timesheet at the end of the shift? Perhaps you are working with little supervision, and your employers trust you to report your hours honestly. It’s important to remember that this is considered theft in New Jersey. If your employer finds out that you have been lying about your hours, you could potentially face serious criminal charges. This is exactly what one New Jersey worker discovered after he was caught in the act.

New Jersey Worker Faces Ten Years in Prison After Lying About Overtime 

In late April of 2024, the Justice Department announced that a man from Bergen County had pleaded guilty to “overtime fraud.” Over the course of two years, he had misreported his overtime hours – increasing his normal pay by almost half a million dollars. It’s not clear how the worker managed to get away with this scheme for two full years without anyone noticing, but he is now facing serious criminal charges for his actions.

According to the court documents, the defendant was working for an electrical subcontractor on the Hudson Bergen Light Rail (HBLR) project in Bergen County when the crime occurred. This train system serves tens of thousands of passengers each day, and it requires regular electrical maintenance.

The defendant was apparently in charge of a team of electrical workers, and he was paid time-and-a-half for overtime work and double-time for work on Sundays. This particular employee didn’t just add a few hours here and there – he fabricated entire weeks of work while he went on vacation.

Not only did this worker admit to overtime fraud, but he also agreed to hand over the full $487,000 that he had fraudulently obtained. While one would assume that the forfeiture would lead to a light sentence, he could potentially face a decade in prison.

What Is “Overtime Fraud?” 

Overtime fraud is considered embezzlement in New Jersey. Stealing property by fraud or deception is just as serious as walking into a store and stealing an item off a shelf. In fact, in many cases this white-collar crime can lead to more serious penalties. Overtime fraud is also sometimes referred to as “misappropriating funds.”

As with all other theft-related offenses, the penalties depend on the value of the stolen property. If you steal more than $75,000, this is a second-degree offense with a 10-year maximum prison sentence. While it might seem difficult to skew your hours by more than $75,000, most overtime fraud takes place over many years – and prosecutors can add up all the hours you fraudulently added over this period.

Find an Experienced Theft Defense Lawyer in Bergen County

If you have been charged with theft after lying about your hours, it’s time to contact a New Jersey theft defense lawyer. Choose Phillip J. Murphy, Attorney at Law to approach your charges with confidence and efficiency. We know how daunting theft charges can be – especially when you’re accused of stealing from your own employer. Reach out today to get started with a defense strategy.




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Phillip J. Murphy,
Attorney At Law
Free Consultations Calls Answered and returned 24/7 Phone: (845) 639-6600 Fax: (845) 639-6620

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10 Esquire Road, Suite 10
New City, New York 10956

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Phillip J. Murphy, Attorney At Law is located in New City, New York and serves clients in and around New York, New Jersey & Connecticut. Contact our experienced criminal defense law firm.
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