Fraud is a very serious and broadly defined criminal offense, usually defined as an intentional deception, or false statement, that is meant to injure a person. The injury in fraud usually deprives a person of money or other property that rightfully belongs to that person.
Criminal fraud is a charge that can be brought against a business, as well as against an individual (a business cannot be put in prison, but can be hit with substantial fines). Fraud charges implicate one of the most important assets a business or a person can have: a reputation for honesty and fair dealing. Fraud crimes are classified according to the type of transaction in which the deception occurred. Examples of fraud crimes include:
In addition, in the federal system, the fraud charge may depend on how the deception or false statement was communicated to the alleged victim. If the communication was done by mail, the charge could be mail fraud. If the communication was done by telephone, telegraph, or over the Internet, the charge could be wire fraud.
Most types of fraud are considered felony crimes that are aggressively prosecuted in the criminal justice system. A person who is convicted of fraud may face incarceration, punitive fines, restitution, probation, community service, and other penalties. The consequences for fraud will depend on the nature, scope, and severity of the offense, whether the fraud was committed by an individual or group, and the state or federal laws that apply to the case.
Fraud can also be carried out by individuals with the intent to deceive a business or government institution. These types of fraud can include insurance fraud, tax evasion, counterfeiting, healthcare fraud, bankruptcy fraud, fraud relating to government social programs (like Medicare and Social security) and more.
Fraud charges can taint the reputation of a person or a business for a long time after the formal criminal charges have been dealt with. Accordingly, if you or someone you know has been accused of criminal fraud, now is the time to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney.
For a free consultation with LA Attorney Avi Zvulun, call 818.720.5288 or 888.333.2636 Toll Free or contact us online.