We increasingly hear the word “fraud” thrown around in a variety of contexts. What is criminal fraud, when can someone be charged with it, and how can you defend against criminal fraud charges?
Criminal fraud falls into the category of crimes known as white collar crimes. White collar crimes are crimes which are committed with the goal of using deceit for the purpose of financial gain. Criminal fraud occurs when a person intentionally misrepresents a material fact they know to be false to a person or entity who justifiably relies on this misrepresentation, and actual injury or damages result from this reliance.
While at first glance that may sound like nebulous legal jargon, most people likely have an intuitive—or even first-person—understanding of what criminal fraud is. Some of the most common examples of fraud we see clients charged with include:
- Credit card fraud – intentionally representing that you are someone to open up a credit card in their name.
- Immigration fraud – providing fraudulent information on immigration paperwork for the purpose of securing a visa or green card.
- Insurance fraud – trying to claim insurance money you are not actually entitled to.
- Internet fraud – using internet services or software with internet access to defraud victims or otherwise take advantage of them.
- Mortgage fraud – lying about your financial information when applying for a mortgage in to get money the mortgage company otherwise wouldn’t lend you.
- Securities fraud – providing deceptive information to lure unsuspecting investors to invest in unstable stocks, or participating in insider trading.
The fraud umbrella is a big one, and it’s easy to see how an unsuspecting person can find themselves in a position where they are unexpectedly charged with fraud. Fraud is a very serious crime that, In Arizona, can bring with it hefty fines and even prison time. However, the good news is that a skilled white collar criminal defense attorney can help you avoid or mitigate charges, and that our attorneys at Blischak Law are some of the best in the business.
We have extensive experience successfully representing clients charged with fraud. One of the first things we do is conduct an exhaustive search for facts in your case that suggest one of the following defenses is applicable to you:
- You did not intend portray that an incorrect fact was a correct one
- You did not know that the fraudulent fact you represented was incorrect
- The fraudulent fact you represented was not material, meaning that it was of no consequence in influencing the affected person’s behavior
- The person who relied on your misrepresentation did not do so justifiably—i.e., they clearly should have known better
- No actual harm resulted from your misrepresentation
- Duress, meaning that you were forced to commit this act under the threat of serious harm or damage
- You were intoxicated, medicated, or your judgment was otherwise impaired at the time you acted
- You were entrapped
At Blischak Law, we believe every client is innocent until proven guilty, and no one works harder to advocate for you in the court than we do. If you have been charged with fraud, the decision you can make is to contact Blischak Law. We serve clients in the Phoenix, Scottsdale, Mesa, Yuma, Flagstaff, and Glenndale areas, and are ready to help you. Contact us today.
Posted in: Criminal Defense