What Are Fraud Charges?
Fraud is a very serious crime, and if you’re convicted, its connotations can follow you for the rest of your life. Even if you were falsely accused of fraud, people may be hesitant to work with you in business ventures or trust you in personal ones. Fraud charges are anxiety inducing, and they should be. If you’re facing fraud charges in Tucson, or even just accusations, you need to do as much as you possibly can to understand the gravity of the situation and proceed knowledgeably.
Understanding what you’re facing will help you prepare a solid defense. The help of an aggressive attorney can help you win your case in court, or at least have the charges or sentence reduced substantially. The more you know, the better.
What Constitutes Fraud?
Fraud is a broad term. In general, it means deliberately lying, misleading, or omitting information for your own benefit. These benefits are usually financial, but may include material goods. Not all fraud involves someone gaining money or an asset. Situations can involve fraudulent misrepresentation to get someone to sign a contract, or even to agree to get them to allow you to sign a contract. Any misrepresentation for gain is fraud.
Fraud can constitute up to a class 2 felony, which is a serious crime. The only class 1 felony is murder. This means the penalties fraud can carry are substantial and weighty. It can be one of the most serious crimes to be convicted of, and can mean years upon years of prison time.
The Types Of Fraud Charges
Fraud charges come in many shapes and sizes. Some fraud charges are highly specific, because they pertain to protected or governmental institutions that require honest representation of information. Fraud charges can occur between any two people or an entity and a person who have a relationship that involves some sort of exchange based on honesty or transparency.
Personal Fraud Charges
Fraud can stem from any situation where decisions are made based upon the information made available to the decider. If the person who provided that information knowingly provided false information in order to obtain something they would not have otherwise obtained, that person has committed fraud.
Mortgage fraud occurs when an individual purchasing a house outside of the lender’s specifications misrepresents their income or employment to secure a loan they may not have otherwise been granted. It can also occur through the falsification of appraisal documents that alter the perceived value of a property. This type of fraud often occurs to inflate the appraised cost of a home in order to secure a loan larger than necessary.
Bank fraud involves kiting checks, check forgery, misrepresentation of finances to obtain a loan, and even money laundering. Lying to a bank or deliberately misusing its services can and will result in fraud charges, as the money was obtained dishonestly.
Securities fraud can mean many things, but it usually means insider trading. Any fraudulent crime that works against federal securities statutes is securities fraud. Ponzi schemes and fraudulent accounting fall under this umbrella.
When you provide information to the government in a request for unemployment benefits, welfare, or food assistance, you submit that information with a pledge stating that the information you presented was honest to the best of your knowledge. If you lied about information to obtain government benefits or to increase the amount of benefits you receive, this is fraud.
Medicare is separate from typical government benefits, but the same rules apply. Any misrepresentations or falsehoods you present to Medicare for more benefits or different coverage constitute fraudulent behavior.
Tax fraud involves hiding money or lying about money to the IRS. Failure to report income or taking false (or overexaggerated) deductions is seen as hiding money from the government. Evasion is a crime, and tax fraud often leads people to prison.
Mail fraud is a broad term. It’s any intent to commit fraud while using the mail system. This can be through sending fraudulent letters with fraudulent requests. It can be committing any other type of fraud while using the mail in the commission of the crime.
Finding a Defense Attorney for Fraud Charges
There are many different types of fraud, and each type of fraud requires a different kind of defense. Tax fraud is looked at differently from benefits fraud. Bank fraud and mail fraud are completely separate crimes. If you need an attorney to defend you against fraud charges, that attorney needs to understand the type of charge. An attorney who specifically works with tax crimes may be ill-equipped to defend a client in a securities fraud case.
Getting The Help You Need
Attorney Doug Taylor has experience defending against a wide variety of fraud charges. If you’re facing fraud charges, you need to act now. Contact us for a free consultation. We’ll review your case, and our legal experts will help prepare the best defense for you.