Fraud Charges in Florida
Fraud is most commonly covered under the term white collar crimes. It means, basically, that something is represented falsely as a fact. The basic motive behind that false representation is to deceive another person, and the deception results in an unauthorized benefit for someone and injury of some kind to the person who is deceived. Some of the more common examples of fraud include:
- Bank fraud
- Identity theft
- Credit card fraud
- Insurance fraud
- Bankruptcy fraud
- Forgery of documents
- Forgery of signatures
- Tax fraud
Fraud charges can result through the written or spoken word. It can occur through the manner in which a person conducts himself; i.e., a doctor's assistant represents himself as the doctor. Or it can be the charge against another individual who has been withholding certain information that should have been disclosed.
Quite often, when a fraud investigation is underway, various law enforcement personnel, such as the U.S. Attorney's Office, the FBI and others, will interview interested parties. Charges do not have to be brought at that point. This is why it is extremely important that if you are being investigated for fraud, you should not agree to be interviewed until you consult with an attorney. Even if you are not guilty of fraud, anything you say might possibly be construed as making false or misleading statements. A criminal defense attorney can help determine, as a first step, if you could be charged with fraud.
How a Prosecutor Proves Fraud
Crimes such as theft, assault and battery, burglary, etc. are investigated and prosecuted based largely on physical evidence and eyewitness testimony. Fraud, on the other hand, is much more complex. An investigation could easily include painstaking reviews of many different kinds of documents, including bank statements, contracts, payroll records, etc. It can also take many weeks and months to go through all this paperwork.
There are basically five factors that must be proven by a prosecutor in order to obtain a fraud conviction:
- The statement is a false statement of a material fact;
- The person who makes the fraudulent statement knows it to be false;
- It must be clear that the intent for the fraudulent statement is to deceive the victim;
- The fraudulent statement is believable, resulting in a reasonable person (the victim) believing it to be true;
- The victim of the fraud does in fact suffer in some way; he is in a worse condition because of the fraud than he was prior to the fraud.
Contact our team in Punta Gorda, FL!
A criminal investigation of fraud can be very complex. You would not want an attorney who was inexperienced in this area. The attorneys at Leskovich Law Group, P.A. have 25 years of combined experience and expertise in handling fraud charges. It takes an aggressive approach, insight into all legal issues and a keen eye to sort through the mountains of documents and pull the right strings to expose the relevant facts.
Sometimes the government presents evidence that is incomplete or inaccurate, which can lead to inaccurate conclusions. Our attorneys aggressively look under every rock to find all of the correct and factual data. Without that level of dedication, it can happen that people who are in fact innocent of fraud get caught unwittingly in the snare of an investigation. Don't let this happen to you. We offer free case evaluations; contact us today!