What Is Fraud?

Fraud can be committed in various ways against others and forms the basis of many white collar crimes. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it in a number of easy-to-understand ways that underlie most criminal offenses of fraud.

These definitions include:

  • Deceit, trickery, specifically, intentional perversion of truth in order to induce another to part with something of value or to surrender a legal right
  • An act of deceiving or misrepresenting: trick
  • A person who is not what he or she pretends to be: imposter
  • One that is not what it seems or is represented to be

Fraud in criminal law consists of a deliberate act or failure to act that has the purpose of obtaining some type of benefit, whether money, identity information, or some other asset, either for the perpetrator or for his or her institution, that is accomplished by deceit, trickery, false suggestions, or failing to tell the truth, all of which is believed by victims and is used against them. It is generally committed for financial gain. Although it is a non-violent crime, it can cause enormous financial or other damage to victims. Because it is generally committed by executives, investment counselors, government employees of officials, or the employees of institutions, it has been labeled “white collar.”

Being investigated or accused of some type of fraud? Act quickly to ensure your rights are protected and that you have access to legal guidance. Call Daniels & Taylor, P.C. at (770) 285-1673.

Examples of Fraud

Many examples of fraud exist, including but not limited to the following:

  • Identity theft, using the stolen identity information of another to obtain money or for purchases
  • Using someone else’s credit card or debit card without their authorization for purchases or to transfer funds
  • Tax evasion, such as failing to report or underreporting income
  • Insurance fraud, taking part in some act meant to obtain an undeserved payment from an insurer
  • Investment fraud, such as Ponzi schemes
  • Bankruptcy fraud, such as failing to disclose property or assets, or making false statements in a bankruptcy proceeding
  • Healthcare fraud, such as making false claims against Medicare/Medicaid or other health insurance policies
  • Mail fraud, using the Postal System to mail documents involving a fraudulent deal or contract
  • Wire fraud, using wire communications to further a fraudulent scheme
  • Telemarketing fraud, in which money or sensitive information is obtained over the phone through misrepresentation

Penalties for Fraud

How you are punished for a fraud-related crime will depend on the nature of the offense, how much harm or financial damage was sustained by victims, and whether you have previous criminal convictions. However, in most crimes involving fraudulent activity, you can generally depend on the fact that incarceration will be involved along with fines if you are convicted. You may also face the penalty of restitution to be paid to the victim(s) which can include attorneys fees and court costs as well.

For example, credit/debit card fraud exceeding $100 generally involve penalties of a one to three year sentence and/or up to $5,000 in fines. Deposit account fraud involving $500 or more generally results in a sentence of up to three years and/or a fine of up to $5,000.

Daniels & Taylor, P.C. Provides Trusted Legal Representation

If you are facing an investigation or accusation of any type of fraud, the sooner you bring in a trusted criminal defense lawyer the better. You will want to ensure that you do not inadvertently make any mistakes that helps the other side. You will also want an attorney protecting your legal rights. Our firm can conduct its own investigation into the allegations, determine the best strategy for your defense, and fight zealously to help you achieve the best possible case result.

To schedule a free case evaluation, contact our Lawrenceville office at (770) 285-1673.