SLG Law has experienced Fraud Defense Attorneys ready to help you. There are many different types of fraud allegations. The State often brings charges with little or no investigation. Sometimes they will charge you if a payment went to you that should not have, without investigating whether or not you intended to defraud anyone. Whether you have been accused or arrested of Insurance Fraud, Welfare Fraud, or any other type of fraud, call SLG Law to discuss your case and what we can do for you.
What is “fraud?”
Black’s Law Dictionary defines fraud as, “[a]n intentional perversion of truth for the purpose of inducing another in reliance upon it to part with some valuable thing belonging to him or to surrender a legal right.” Black’s Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition, 1990. We often see it prosecuted where one person is alleged to have misrepresented a fact in order to induce another to take some kind of action. For example, if a new home buyer inflates his or her income in order to convince a mortgage company to approve the application, that homeowner could be prosecuted for fraud.
What are the different types of fraud cases?
The State can bring fraud charges generally or under specific, industry related statutes. For example, there are specific statutes relating to mortgage fraud, welfare fraud, food stamp fraud, insurance fraud, credit card fraud and more. There are also more general statutes relating to multiple occurrences, or schemes to defraud. The severity of the possible sentence is related to amount of loss to the victim and to the number of occurrences of the fraud. For example, if you are charged with fraudulently using multiple credit cards, the possible sentence might be more severe than if you are charged with one single fraudulent use of a credit card. If you are charged with Scheme to Defraud a person of less than $20,000, you would be facing up to five years in prison. However, if the amount was between $20,000, but less than $50,000, you would be facing up to 15 years in prison. Click on the links below to see all of the different fraud offenses and potential sentences for each one.
What if I’m charged with fraud, but I didn’t intentionally try to defraud anyone?
Many fraud cases involve facts that both the State and the Defense agree on. What they disagree on is intent. What was in your mind at the time? The State will often use circumstantial evidence to prove intent. In other words, they don’t need a witness to testify that you told that witness you were intending to defraud the victim. They don’t need a confession from you that you intended to defraud the victim. They can use the circumstances to convince the jury that your intent was to defraud. For example, if you, as a contractor, took $20,000 from a person to construct a new roof, but you spent the money on other things and never took any steps to construct the new roof, the State could argue that spending the money and not taking any steps toward the construction was proof that your intent was to defraud the homeowner. Your defense may be that you intended to complete the work, however, intervening circumstances prevented you from completing the project. Each case is different and the facts and surrounding circumstances are critical to determine the strength of the defense.
Click a link below to learn about the different Fraud statutes in the State of Florida and how we can help.