Fraud and Financial Crimes

Fraud and financial crimes are a form of theft/larceny that occur when a person or entity takes money or property, or uses them in an illicit manner, with the intent to gain a benefit from it. These crimes typically involve some form of deceit, subterfuge or the abuse of a position of trust, which distinguishes them from common theft or robbery. In today's complex economy, fraud and financial crimes can take many forms. The resources below will introduce you to the more common forms of financial crimes, such as forgery, credit card fraud, embezzlement and money laundering.

Debit/Credit Card Fraud

Debit and credit card fraud also occurs when an individual has an intent to fraudulently obtain money, goods, or services by using the access card of a cardholder who has not authorized its use. Common examples of credit or debit card fraud include using someone else's credit or debit card without that person's consent, using your own credit or debit card knowing that it has been revoked or expired or that your available balance is less than the purchase price, and using a stolen or fraudulent credit or debit card to receive money, goods or services.

What is Forgery?

The crime of forgery occurs when, with the intent to defraud, a person executes, alters or publishes a writing without the owner's knowledge or consent. This can also happen if s/he fraudulently makes a writing and holds it out to be the work of another. A "writing" can include money, coins, credit cards, checks, bank drafts, stock certificates, bonds, wills and deeds.

Wire Fraud

The crime of wire fraud occurs when someone voluntarily and intentionally uses an interstate communications device (such as a telephone or the internet) as a part of any scheme to defraud another of property, or anything else of value. For example, if you try to sell property you do not own, and in your attempt you use a your smartphone to send an email to someone trying to convince that person to purchase the land, you commit wire fraud. Wire fraud is a federal crime with serious potential consequences.

Types of Insurance Fraud

Insurance fraud is stealing. Simply put, insurance fraud is lying for the purpose of getting more money from an insurance company, whether it is auto insurance, life insurance, or any other kind of insurance. There are two types of insurance fraud: soft and hard fraud. An example of soft fraud is getting into a motorcycle accident and claiming your injuries are worse than they really are for financial gain. An example of hard fraud would be getting into that same motorcycle accident on purpose so that you can claim the insurance money. Both are crimes.

Why You Need a Criminal Defense Attorney

Being charged with fraud or a financial crime is a serious situation. If you’re charged with any one of theses crime classifications, or are asked questions by investigators, you need to talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Always talk to a lawyer before you make any statements to investigators. Your lawyer will be able to guide you through the criminal justice process and protect your interests at every stage.

Learn About Fraud and Financial Crimes
Brief explanation of bribery, which is the act of accepting or offering something of value in exchange for influence or power in connection to an elected position or public employment.

In-depth information about fraud in general and definitions of the various types of fraud – such as wire fraud; tax evasion; insurance fraud; and identity theft – plus tips for identifying fraudulent activity.

Overview of embezzlement, a crime that occurs when an individual steals money or property that he or she has been entrusted to manage, with links to carson and smith law firm theft and larceny subsection.

Identity Theft
Brief definition of identity theft, which occurs when someone unlawfully uses another's personally identifying information (such as a Social Security Number) to commit other crimes, such as credit card fraud.

Money Laundering
Definition of money laundering, a crime involving the movement of illicit money and other gains into legitimate channels in order to disguise the money's illegal source and thwart tax officials.

Mortgage Fraud
Explanation of the various different illegal schemes related to the misrepresentation or misstatement of mortgage documents for the purpose of defrauding another party, such as a lender or a homeowner.

Racketeering / RICO
Overview of federal and state racketeering and RICO (Racketeer-Influenced and Corrupt Organization) laws, which make it a crime for a criminal organization to profit from otherwise legitimate business operations.

Securities Fraud
Definition of securities fraud, a crime in which a corporate officer, for example, makes misleading statements about the company’s stock performance or discloses confidential information related to its stock.

Tax Evasion / Fraud
Brief overview of tax evasion, the crime of not paying one’s legally required share of either federal or state taxes, which is punished severely and can lead to asset forfeiture or prison.

White Collar Crimes
So-called “white-collar crimes” encompass many separate individual crimes, most commonly related to the use of deceit for financial gains, such as Ponzi schemes; securities fraud; tax evasion; and embezzlement.