Florida Fraud Defense Lawyer
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Fraud is a crime that involves various forms of theft which are carried out in a way to deceive others. Most actors commit fraud in an attempt to extort or gain compensation or other valuables from helpless and unsuspecting victims. In this day and age, we are seeing countless cases of fraud across Florida and the entire country.
Unfortunately, there are many cases in which people are falsely accused of committing fraud. Being charged with fraud can have a major impact on a person’s life and freedom. For this reason, it is imperative for those accused of fraud to contact an experienced defense attorney as soon as possible to protect their legal rights.
Individuals who are accused of fraud will need to have a skilled Florida fraud defense attorney by their side who is willing to fight for what is right. Individuals facing fraud changes can be forced to pay millions of dollars in fines and spend up to 30-years in prison, depending on the type of conviction. Working with a fraud defense attorney in Florida will ensure that those accused have the best chance of having their charges dismissed or reduced so they do not have to pay extensively for wrongful convictions.
Put more than 150 years of collective legal experience to work for you by calling Musca Law at (888) 484-5057 today for a free case evaluation!
What Is A Scheme To Defraud In Florida?
Under Florida law, a person can be convicted of a scheme to defraud in instances where they engage in an ongoing course of conduct with the intent to defraud or obtain property from a person or persons by providing false representations, promises, pretenses, or willfully misrepresenting future acts.
Although there are a variety of types of fraud a person can be convicted of, there are generally two classifications of fraud in Florida. Fraud can either be considered organized or communications fraud.
What Is Organized Fraud In Florida?
Organized fraud is often considered a far more serious offense than communications fraud. In these cases, people are able to actually obtain property or compensation by defrauding others. Organized fraud does not require any form of electronic communication nor the use of telephone or mail.
Depending on the severity of the crime, actors can face an array of consequences. When individuals commit fraud in the amount of $20,000 or less, then they can face up to five years in prison, five years on probation, and up to $5,000 in fines. For cases between $20,000 and $50,000, defendants can face up to fifteen years in prison, fifteen years of probation, and up to $10,000 in fines. Cases in excess of $50,000 can face up to thirty years in prison, thirty years of probation, and up to $10,000 in fines.
On the other hand, a person can commit communications fraud when they engage in a scheme designed to defraud another. During the course of their scheme, these offenders utilize mail, telephones, or other electronic means with the intention to fraudulently obtain money or property from victims.
Individuals who commit communications fraud for less than $300 can face up to one year in prison, one year of probation, and up to $500 in fines. For cases involving fraud over $300, those convicted can face up to five years in prison, five years of probation, and up to $5,000 in fines for their actions.
Types Of Fraud A Person Can Be Charged With
There are various types of fraud that a person can be charged with criminally. Each one brings forth a variety of penalties while some can be more severe than others. It is important to know what types of fraud charges a person can face and what the penalties for the fraudulent acts are.
Bank Fraud: Bank fraud is the act of using fraudulent means to secure a loan or obtain funds from a bank that they are not truly entitled to. This crime can cover check fraud, which includes writing bad checks in situations where those accused are aware that they do not have the funds available to cover the checks they write. Depending on the amount of money involved, a person can face between 1 year and 5 years in prison, as well as hefty fines for their actions.
Wire Fraud: This crime refers to an unlawful scheme which is designed to obtain money or property under false representation or promises through the use of wire communication or telephones. Individuals who commit this crime can face both state and federal charges. In some cases, the accused can face thousands of dollars in fines and between 25 years to life in prison.
Mail Fraud: The act of mail fraud includes instances where individuals utilize the United State Postal Service, UPS, or FedEx to commit fraud. In these cases, perpetrators will typically send mail to the victim and request or demand money. Those convicted of this crime can face up to $250,000 in fines and up to twenty years in prison.
Work-at-Home Schemes: these get rich quick scams are designed to lure in individuals by offering to employ them to work at home. Those who commit this act often advertise that workers can perform minimal tasks for maximum payout.
Phishing: This act includes perpetrators who create websites, send mail or email, or perform other tasks under a false identity. Quite often, these individuals will send out requests for pay, or make mock websites to accept credit card transactions. Instead of providing an item or service to the victim, the accused will take their financial information and money for their own use.
Bankruptcy Fraud: In Florida, a person who files for bankruptcy must declare all of their assets and liabilities. This is done so the court can distribute the estate to the creditors according to law. In some cases, individuals will conceal assets and make false statements regarding their assets. When convicted, individuals can face up to five years in prison and extensive fines.
Tax Fraud: Tax fraud is the act of evading payment of money that is due for taxes. Individuals who commit this act do so while knowing their actions are wrong. Those arrested for this crime can face extensive prison sentences and heavy fines depending on the amount of money involved.
Employment Fraud: This type of fraud can include acts in which people provide false identification or credentials for employment opportunities. Individuals can use false licenses, false proof of education, and various other documents to gain jobs they are unqualified for.
Government Fraud: Government fraud in Florida encompasses patterns of fraud in which individuals engage in healthcare fraud, procurement fraud, or other forms of fraud where they obtain benefits or compensation from the government that they are not entitled to
Credit Card Fraud: Individuals can be accused of credit card fraud in cases where they use a credit card with the intent to defraud a merchant. In some cases, those accused will use credit cards that they unlawfully obtained, forged signatures on, or those not authorized to use for obtaining money, goods, or services for oneself. Individuals accused of this crime can be sent to prison for several years and face extensive fines.
Organized Fraud: This category of fraud covers an array of criminal acts. In any case, a person can be accused if they engaged in a scheme that was designed to defraud and through the scheme a person obtained property or money. Depending on the severity of the crime, individuals can face between 5 years and 30 years in prison and incur fines over $50,000.
Healthcare Fraud: Individuals can be charged with healthcare fraud in cases where they wrongfully bill an insurance company for services or treatment that was not actually performed or utilized. This is commonly seen in nursing homes where facilities bill the insurance companies extra for various services without truly providing them to patients.
Insurance Fraud: Insurance fraud is a crime where offenders utilize insurance coverage that was provided for another person. This type of fraud can also cover instances where individuals file claims against their insurance company to obtain compensation for damages that they never truly experienced. Insurance fraud can include home insurance, life insurance, auto insurance, and even health insurance.
Mortgage Fraud: A person can be charged with mortgage fraud in cases where they intentionally or knowingly make material misstatements, misrepresentations, or omissions during the mortgage lending process. This individual must also have received funds or proceeds as a result of their wrongful acts.
Computer/Internet Fraud: With the rise in technology, we are seeing more people being charged with computer and internet fraud. This is an act that includes transmitted communication that was threatening in nature in an attempt to obtain money or valuables from a person by extortion.
Securities Fraud: This type of fraud involves rendering any investment advice to employ a device, scheme, or artifice with the intent to defraud or to obtain money by means of untruthful statements. Additionally, this act can include engaging in any transaction, practices, or businesses that are fraudulent or deceptive.
Individuals who make mistakes, oversights, or accidents should not be criminally prosecuted for their actions. Working with a reputable criminal defense attorney in Florida will ensure your freedom and life are protected.
Defenses Against Fraud Charges In Florida
In Florida, there are various legal defenses that can be argued in court against a conviction. The first, and most common argument involves double jeopardy. The majority of fraud cases involve various degrees of the same offense. Only one conviction can be imposed on a person who is charged with multiple theft and fraud offenses. It can be argued that the additional charges or fines would be double jeopardy and should be dismissed.
Another argument involves the intent to defraud. Individuals who are convicted of fraud must have clearly demonstrated that their intent for their actions was to actually defraud another person. This is a common argument surrounding investment cases where victims lose all their money. It can be argued that the defendant was truly interested in helping those involved but it did not go as planned.
Another argument made in fraud cases surrounds multiple thefts. If a person is charged for committing multiple thefts over a period of time, it can be argued that they did not commit fraud unless it can be shown that some falsehood was committed during or after the act. For example, there is no proof that it was a case of fraud for theft if the person did not try to return items, use fake credit cards or payment methods, or if they did not change the price tags for items they were stealing.
If you were arrested for fraud, it is imperative that you contact a criminal defense attorney in Florida as soon as possible. There are various arguments that can be made on your behalf. However, you will need to consult with a knowledgeable legal professional who can go over the particular circumstances of your case to determine the best defense route specific to you and the details of your case.
A Criminal Defense Attorney In Florida Can Help You
Fraud charges are extremely serious. Those convicted of these crimes can face extensive legal consequences. Not only can these convictions jeopardize a person’s freedom, but they can also have serious and extensive financial consequences. If you have been accused of fraud, it is imperative that you work with a skilled Florida fraud defense attorney who is willing to fight on your behalf to protect your legal rights.
With over 150 years of experience, Musca Law has helped countless clients facing fraud charges on both the state and federal level. Our attorneys understand that a fraud conviction will play heavily on a court’s ability to demonstrate that the accused intended to act in a fraudulent way. For this reason, we skillfully craft legal defense strategies for our clients that demonstrate that they never willfully nor intentionally carried out or attempted to fraud others.
If you were accused of fraud in Florida, contact our law firm today at (888) 484-5057 to schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation. Our Florida criminal defense attorneys are standing by 24-hours a day to take your call and get started working on your case. Don’t hesitate to call us today!