The charge of fraud covers many crimes, but carries one meaning. In a nutshell, fraud is when one person willfully takes advantage of another through recklessness, negligence, or pure malice. The person committing the fraud usually makes a financial or personal gain from the fraudulent activity, such as when one individual sells another phony stock. In that case, the "shareholder" gives the "broker" money in exchange for stocks that turn out to be worthless or worth virtually nothing.
The media often covers fraud cases, especially those relating to identity theft, a "hot" topic. Many newspapers and magazines clamor to report stories of a single person or group of people stealing the credit card numbers, social security numbers, or other identification from a victim. Because this type of fraud has received so much press, judges and juries are cracking down on the perpetrators of such crimes, and those found guilty of such fraud are usually given heavier sentences than ever before.
Other common methods of fraud include healthcare fraud (which hearkens back to the days when peddlers sold "magic remedies" to unsuspecting townsfolk around the country); false advertising (as in "bait and switch" sales tactics which are illegal at worst and unethical at best); false insurance claims (where an insured person deceives his or her insurance company or another person's insurance company for personal gains); and tax evasion (which is self-explanatory and carries stiff penalties and possibly imprisonment.)
Depending on the type of fraud committed and the severity of the crime, sentences will vary. However, it's always important to get a good defense attorney if you or someone you care about has been accused of fraud. As mentioned previously, judges and juries have begun instituting higher fines and longer jail terms to anyone charged in a fraud case, and the social stigma of being considered a "flim-flam artist" or "fraudster" will haunt both you and your family for years.
Our law firm has a staff that is dedicated to helping defendants who have been accused of fraud. Whether you are guilty or innocent is up to the courts to decide; our role is to make sure that you have your day in court as is promised to every citizen.
Contact us by telephone, email, or fax today and a representative will be in touch with you shortly to set up a no-obligation consultation. Remember - fraud is a serious charge; you deserve the best representation available.