White Collar Crime Defense: Fraud

It seems harmless enough - shaving a few dollars off your income on your tax return, or bumping up the value of your property on an insurance claim. A few dollars here and there may not seem like much, but any misrepresentation for personal financial gain is considered fraud. Fraud is a white collar crime prosecuted in state and federal courts, and your little white lie or lie of omission can land you behind bars.

Being accused as a con man or a fraudster can ruin your personal and professional reputation. You may be convicted of a felony and suffer collateral consequences including loss of firearm rights, restriction of voting rights, and more. For some, the long term consequences of conviction have a much more lasting impact than the time spent in jail or prison.

For anyone accused of fraud, the first step is contacting a white collar defense lawyer with successful experience handling fraud cases. the Law Firm of Oklahoma continually proves its worth in handling challenging white collar cases, and we have built a reputation for achieving favorable outcomes for our clients.

Understanding Fraud

Fraud is any duplicitous means of obtaining money or benefits to which one is not lawfully entitled. In other words, fraud is any act of intentional deception for personal gain. The types of activity encompassed under the definition of fraud are limitless:

  • Bank Fraud - defrauding a financial institution or making false claims and misrepresentations to obtain money or assets from a federally-insured bank
  • Bankruptcy Fraud - concealing assets, multiple filings, petition mills
  • Check Fraud - writing bad check, using bogus checks, or check kiting
  • Credit Card Fraud - unauthorized use of a credit card, using a stolen credit card, using a credit card obtained through identity theft
  • Health Care Fraud (Medicare Fraud and Medicaid Fraud) - billing for services not rendered, procedures not performed, or equipment not provided; performing unnecessary procedures; code jamming; unbundling; double billing; phantom billing; receiving kickbacks
  • Insurance Fraud - making false claims, over-reporting losses, staging accidents
  • Identity Theft - using the personal information of another in order to obtain credit
  • Investment Fraud, Securities Fraud, Ponzi Schemes, and Insider Trading
  • Mail Fraud, Wire Fraud, Telemarketing Fraud and Internet Fraud
  • Marketing Fraud - making false product claims
  • Mortgage Fraud - misrepresenting information on a mortgage loan application in order to obtain a loan or to obtain a larger loan than one's assets merit
  • Pyramid Schemes - unsustainable business model in which each participant recruits two additional participants, and returns to early investors are paid by the investments of subsequent recruits
  • Tax Fraud and Tax Evasion - failure to file a tax return, underreporting income, claiming undeserved tax credits, claiming false deductions, falsifying accounts, concealing assets or income
  • Welfare Fraud - misuse of the state welfare system; making false claims, failing to report income, selling food stamps, selling formula or other WIC provided goods

Certainly, fraud may be committed by a stereotypical oily con-man, but it can also be perpetrated by affluent, well-spoken, and apparently successful businessmen and women. Often, fraud is perpetrated by ordinary individuals who find themselves in difficult situations, perhaps struggling financially and looking for any solution, including making false claims to get financial relief or benefits to which they would not be entitled without blurring a few facts on an application.

However, the easy way is not always the best way, and a false claim or misrepresentation can quickly lead to misdemeanor or felony charges. A criminal lawyer can help remedy a complex and confusing situation.

Fraud Penalties in Oklahoma

Like other white collar crimes, fraud is generally penalized in accordance with the property loss of the victim or victims. In general, defrauding a person or institution out of $500 or less is prosecuted as a misdemeanor. Defrauding a victim out of $1,000 or more is prosecuted as a felony. However, the specific details of each potential sentence varies by the type of fraud committed and whether that fraud is a state or federal offense.

If you have been accused of fraud or of violating the False Claims Act, contact a white collar defense lawyer who can fully explain your charge and the potential penalties you face for your specific alleged offense.

Skillful Fraud Defense Representation

Because the types of fraud, cons, misrepresentation, and false claims are vast, anyone suspected of a fraud offense should immediately consult a defense attorney who is experienced in representing defendants charged with various types of fraud. During a free consultation, your lawyer should explain your charge, the potential legal ramifications, and any defense strategies which may be available to you. In this initial consultation, ask about the attorney's experience in handling similar cases and find out about his or her track record in white collar defense.

At the Law Firm of Oklahoma, our team of attorneys are skillful negotiators and aggressive trial lawyers, prepared to provide effective representation in any course your trial takes. To schedule your risk-free case review, call (405) 608-4990 today.

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