UNDERSTANDING DIFFERENT TYPES OF FRAUD & THEIR PENALTIES
Posted: October 12, 2016
Fraud is a criminal offense that is taken quite seriously and penalized heavily in the United States, despite often being considered a form of nonviolent white collar crime. In general, fraud is the act of intentionally deceiving another person or party in order to collect personal gain, typically financial assets, or harm their own wellbeing, perhaps through reputation destruction. Generalities only go so far, however, since fraud is actually categorized into several different charges.
If you have been arrested for fraud in Missouri, it will help if you better understand the details of the crime you allegedly committed. Take a look at this list of five common forms of fraud, what they mean, and how they could be penalized upon conviction.
Five common types of fraud crimes frequently seen in criminal cases are:
- Bankruptcy fraud: Filing for bankruptcy can entirely eliminate and discharge a myriad of private, business, and consumer debt. Bankruptcy fraud is committed when someone falsifies their financial records in order to appear to be in a dire financial strait. Bankruptcy does not need to be approved in order to trigger fraud charges.
- Identity theft: Popularized by cybercriminals in the early days of the internet, identity theft has actually been around for decades. When a person collects private information of another, legitimately or illegally, they can assume their identity, typically to steal bank funds or commit credit card fraud. The impersonal nature of the internet made identity theft incredibly easy for tech savvy offenders.
- Insurance fraud: If someone lies to their insurance provider about how much damage has been done to their property, or about the source of that damage, they have committed insurance fraud. Effectively, insurance fraud is an advanced form of theftsince offenders are getting money by abusing the trust and contract of a business.
- Mail fraud: Tampering with the mail is a federal offense and could constitute mail fraud, especially if mail is taken, intercepted, or rerouted without the knowledge of the postal service.
- Tax fraud: Perhaps the most heavily penalized form of fraud, tax fraud occurs when a person or company lies about their income, expenditures, and other finances in order to collect more or pay less taxes. The federal government will use the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and its vast tax databases to prosecute people accused of tax fraud.
At Worsham Law Firm, our Springfield criminal defense attorneys always do everything in their power to help our clients through thick and thin to achieve a beneficial case result. A single fraud conviction, no matter the type, can result in more than a year in jail, thousands of dollars in fines, and the destruction of a person’s good name. We work hard to ensure none of that happens and that the cases we take are dismissed, or the charges in them reduced to the absolute minimum.
Call 417.658.4172 to speak to our fraud defense lawyers in Springfield, Missouri. You can even start with a case evaluationonline.