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Fraud

Polk County Fraud Defense Attorney

Fraud is a kind of white collar crime which involves dishonesty or malicious intent with regard to financial transactions. It has been defined as, "A deception made for personal gain or to damage another individual." Fraud can be carried by mail, wire, phone and the internet. Every fraud case alleges that an individual has made a knowing misrepresentation of the facts or has concealed facts to induce a person or business to give up something of value.

Due to a challenging economy, fraudulent schemes with the intent to defraud are becoming more common. Internet fraud in particular is an increasing area of fraud and ongoing focus of law enforcement. The government has many resources it can use when it mounts a case of fraud against you.

Being convicted of a fraud crime is serious as this is a crime of moral turpitude, thus tarnishing your reputation and future educational and employment opportunities. Forms of fraud include the following:

  • Worthless checks
  • Stopping payment on a check intending to defraud another party after receiving goods/services
  • False statements to acquire property/credit
  • Identity theft

Other kinds of fraud include bank fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, work at home schemes, phishing, bankruptcy fraud, tax fraud, employment fraud, government fraud, accounting fraud, business fraud, consumer fraud, Ponzi schemes, prescription drug fraud, credit card fraud, organized fraud (conspiracy), healthcare fraud, insurance fraud, mortgage fraud, marriage fraud, computer/internet fraud, electronic fraud and securities fraud. Other charges include RICO/racketeering charges.

Mortgage fraud has become prevalent in the last few years and involves property flipping, "silent second" (when the buyer of a property borrows the down payment from the seller through the issuance of a non-disclosed second mortgage), nominee loans, fictitious identity (used on a loan application), inflated appraisals, foreclosure schemes, equity skimming, air loans (a non-existent property loan where there is no collateral).

Penalties You Could Face

Criminal charges for bad or stopped payment are typically misdemeanors, but can become felony charges if the amount is over $150. Identity theft on the other hand is usually a second degree felony. If you are convicted of identity theft in Florida, you could face a minimum of three years in prison. Identity theft usually involves driver's licenses, government issued IDs, school IDs, social security numbers and birth certificates.

The seriousness of the charge depends on the amount you are accused of taking. Theft by fraud of $300 to $20,000 is a third degree felony, punishable by five years in jail, whereas theft by fraud of $20,000 to $100,00 is a first degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison.

Did you intent to commit fraud?

It is not uncommon for someone to be charged with a fraud offense as a result of another's mistake or malicious action. If the action you are accused of committing was an oversight, accident or mistake, you should be able to have your case discharged! With the right evidence and defense, you may be able to have your charges dismissed or reduced. All too often individuals accused of fraud fall into one of these categories:

  • They made a mistake in judgment
  • They did not realize what they were doing was unlawful
  • They were misled by someone else
  • They are falsely accused

The intentions of the defendant will largely affect his/her charges and case outcome. Usually, in order to be convicted of fraud, the fraudulent action must have been willfully and intentionally devised, carried out or attempted to carry out. Sometimes business deals can go sour and individuals can lose a lot of money as a result, but this does not mean that you are guilty of committing fraud. At other times your mortgage broker or real estate broker might have committed fraud when doing the loan paperwork by providing false documentation.

The state must prove that you intended to defraud someone in order for you to be convicted of fraud. Fraud cases can be extremely difficult to prove and they often require specific pieces of evidence that the government cannot procure.

Secure aggressive legal defense on your side today!

We will make use of forensic accountants, valuation experts, appraisers, handwriting experts, computer experts, tax consultants and other professionals when necessary to aid you in your defense. While a fraud conviction can result in hefty fines and a lengthy jail sentence, more importantly, it can wreak adverse consequences upon your career. Few employers hire or keep employees with a fraud conviction on his/her record. Don't allow this charge to threaten your livelihood, your family or your future!

Sometimes those convicted of a white collar crime are forced to serve long prison sentences that are even worse than those convicted of violent crimes. If you have been subpoenaed by a grand jury or are under investigation for fraud, you do not have a moment to lose. It is imperative that you secure legal defense immediately and receive advice concerning how to respond and what defense is best suited to your case. There are multiple defenses available to you and Ayo & Iken, PLC will help craft the most compelling one relevant to your case!

We can help you avoid a fraud conviction that could haunt you for the rest of your life. We are committed to protecting your rights and the odds against you! Take advantage of our more than 35 years of combined legal experience and schedule your free consultation with Ayo & Iken, PLC today! We will inform you of all of your options from the start; let us put our diligence, determination and skill to work for you immediately!

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