Don’t Get Charged with One of These 6 Serious Types of Fraud

Fraud is an umbrella term that encompasses a huge array of white collar criminal offenses, from relatively simple falsification of expense claims to sophisticated investment scams.

Though fraud crimes come in many different varieties and forms, most of them involve intentionally usinng some type of dishonest or deceitful statement or action against an individual or entity in order to gain money, property, or something of value. In order to qualify as criminal fraud, actual injury or damages must result from the action.

Fraud offenses often occur online, or through phone, mail, or wire communications. Below, we’ve listed six common types of fraud crimes.

Identity theft. You can be charged with identity theft for using  another individual’s personal identifying information—such as their name, credit card information, or Social Security number—without their permission. One of the most common types of identity theft is financial identity theft, which involves using someone else’s name to obtain loans, credit, goods, or services. You may also be charged with identity theft if you identify yourself as someone else after being arrested for a crime.

Credit card fraud. Credit card fraud involves the use of a credit, debit, or other payment card as a fraudulent method of funding. You can be charged with credit card fraud if you use a credit or other payment card to obtain goods or services without paying, or to take money from an account without permission.

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Bankruptcy fraud. There are many different ways you can be charged with bankruptcy fraud. Four of the most common include:

  • Concealing assets or property to avoid having to give them up
  • Filing false or intentionally incomplete bankruptcy documents
  • Filing for bankruptcy multiple times in different states or using fake information
  • Bribing a court-appointed trustee

These are just a few of the many different types of bankruptcy fraud. Essentially, you can be charged with bankruptcy fraud for any kind of activity that takes advantage of the bankruptcy process.

Tax fraud. Tax evasion is a common type of tax fraud which involves the intentional act of falsifying or misrepresenting income to the IRS. You could be charged with tax evasion for not declaring all of your income, knowingly overstating your expenses or deductions, or neglecting to file tax returns in an attempt to avoid paying taxes that are due.

Insurance fraud. Any type of act that is committed with the purpose of securing an improper outcome from an insurance procedure may qualify as insurance fraud. Common examples include making an untrue or overstated insurance claim, or filing a claim for injuries or damages that did not actually occur in an attempt to obtain compensation.

Securities fraud. You could be charged with committing securities fraud after making an untrue statement about a company or its stock – if others make financial decisions based on your fraudulent information. A common type of securities fraud is known as insider trading, which involves using confidential information about a company to determine whether to buy or sell stock.

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In any kind of fraud crime case, the prosecutor will have to prove that you knowingly used deception to obtain money or something of value from another person or entity. Often, the most complicated part of a fraud crimes conviction is proving intent.

Regardless of its form, both state and federal law treat fraud crimes very seriously. The penalties for a fraud crime may include a lengthy prison sentence, probation, and hefty fines. In addition to criminal consequences, you could also be made to pay restitution to the alleged victims of your actions. Typically, the severity of your sentence will depend on the type of fraud crime alleged, the amount defrauded, and the identity of the targeted victim.

The laws surrounding criminal fraud are complex, and it’s highly inadvisable to try and navigate this type of case on your own. Whether you are facing fraud charges or are simply worried that you are under investigation, you should hire a Colorado fraud crimes attorney as soon as possible.

A fraud crimes lawyer with a successful track record can examine your unique case to determine effective strategies for your defense. For instance, your attorney may be able to prove that you committed a fraudulent activity unintentionally, and did not behave out of interest for personal gain. With the help of a good lawyer, you may be able to have your fraud charges reduced or dropped entirely, avoiding devastating penalties to your career, personal life, and freedom.

About the Author:

Denver-based criminal defense and DUI attorney Jacob E. Martinez is a knowledgeable and experienced litigator with a record of success providing innovative solutions to clients facing criminal charges of any severity. Mr. Martinez has been designated a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers and has been awarded both the Avvo Client’s Choice Award and Avvo Top Attorney designation, evidencing his reputation for his exemplary criminal and DUI defense work and high moral standards.