One of the biggest problems facing the country today is fraud. While it may not be considered as damaging as crimes involving physical violence or threats, the truth is that fraud has a massively devastating effect on the persons affected. What’s more, most fraud cases affect multiple people at the same time. The state of Florida is known around the United State for its tough stance on crime. After a recent announcement that Florida was the top state for fraud and identity theft, the authorities are adopting a tougher policy for fraud and fraud related charges. If you or someone you know has been arrested or charged with fraud or a related offense, it is time to get in touch with a Broward criminal lawyer as early as possible. A defense attorney who is experienced in handling fraud cases can help you get your life back on track.
Fraud crimes and fraud related offenses are generally based on misrepresentation, misinformation, or other means of deceit used on an individual or individuals in order to benefit financially or by obtaining goods and services. Hiring a Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyer is the first step in ensuring that your rights are not violated when accused of a fraud crime. Fraud crimes include:
- Benefits Fraud:
One of the most common types of fraud committed is benefits fraud. It involves acting dishonestly in order to claim benefits which would otherwise not have been given. It may include identity theft or other fraudulent identifying information. Because the perpetrators are often single senior citizens who have no income or no one to take care of them, benefits fraud was largely swept under the rug until recently. However, at this point of time, law enforcement agencies in Florida take it just as seriously as other fraud crimes.
- Check Offenses:
A person can be charged with a check offense for a fake signature or bounced check that is used to pay for goods or services. In many cases, a fake check may be honored by a bank based on a client’s longstanding history. It may take weeks for fraudulent check activity to be discovered and recorded.
- Credit Card Fraud:
Credit card fraud includes multiple crimes that involve deceitfully obtaining and fraudulently using a person’s credit card, debit card, or other payment card for carrying out transactions, transferring fund, shopping, or paying for other goods or services without authorization.
- Identity Theft:
Identity theft is probably the most common occurrence of fraud related crime in the United States today. Identity theft, as its name suggests, involved fraudulently obtaining and using another person’s credentials for various purposes. It includes stealing identifying information, driver’s licenses, social security numbers, and other information for monetary gain. More serious cases of identity theft involve using a person’s credentials to access a restricted facility, access confidential information, or carry out transactions on behalf of another party. A Fort Lauderdale criminal attorney may help get the charges of identity theft reduced or even dropped.
- Investment Fraud:
A person may be charged with investment fraud if he or she sets up a fake company and then obtains investments from individuals under false pretenses. Common types of investment fraud include pyramid schemes, where participants are asked to invest money in a project and returns are given based on the contributions from other participants they must recruit.
- Mail Fraud:
Mail fraud involves obtaining or attempting to obtain money or other services or intentionally defrauding another individual via mail. Mail fraud covers anything that is sent or delivered by the postal service. One common example of mail fraud is fake disaster relief or emergency collections. Mail fraud can earn a severe penalty including imprisonment or a fine.
- Marriage Fraud:
Once a common practice among friends or acquaintances, marriage fraud involves an alien or permanent resident marrying a US citizen in order to get citizenship. These types of marriages just exist on paper. In recent years, there has been an increased crackdown on marriage fraud. If you are accused of marriage fraud, get in touch with a Fort Lauderdale criminal attorney immediately to discuss your options.
- Tax Fraud:
Tax fraud is defrauding the government by not paying lawfully due taxes. Tax fraud includes tax evasion which is the omission or deceitful misrepresentation of the true income a person earns. Tax fraud is punishable by both civil and criminal penalties.
- Medicare Fraud:
Medicare fraud is another common fraud crime in the state of Florida. As is evident from its name, Medicare fraud involves the collection of Medicare health reimbursement by deceit, providing false information, and using false pretenses.
- Mortgage Fraud:
Mortgage fraud involves misrepresenting or omitting vital information on a mortgage loan application. It includes fraudulently representing financial status or identifying information in order to borrow a loan that would otherwise have not been approved by a lender.
- Prescription Fraud:
This type of fraud crime involves either deceitfully obtaining a registered medical practitioner’s prescriptions, or creating fake ones in order to obtain medicine and other health treatment which would not otherwise have been possible. Prescriptions fraud is a very serious allegation and a Fort Lauderdale criminal lawyer representing you may be able to make a deal with the prosecution for time served, community service, or probation instead of jail time.
- Wire Fraud:
Wire fraud involves obtaining money under false pretenses by using wire, radio or TV including any writing, signs, signals, pictures, or sound for the same purpose. Wire fraud is considered a serious offense and carries harsh penalties for offenders.
What You Should Do If Charged with Fraud:
In an effort to curb fraud related crimes, the state of Florida now seeks severe penalties for fraud cases. A Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney may be able to help you out in this matter and get your life back on track. Call our office now to schedule a free consultation with one of our former state prosecutors. A Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney from our office will be experienced in handling fraud crimes and related offenses and is ready to work for you. To schedule your free consultation, reach out to our office immediately, (954) 256-1464.