Have You Or A Loved One Been Charged With A Criminal Fraud Offense?
Being arrested for a fraud offense is potentially serious and may have lifelong consequences. Of course, the first thing anyone should know if they are being arrested by law enforcement for any crime is how important it is to exercise the right to counsel and the right to remain silent. These rights, typically called Miranda rights, are a very powerful tool because, once they are invoked, law enforcement must stop all interrogation.
If you are being arrested, law enforcement is not your friend, and no matter how much they will try to make it appear like they “only want to help,” you, anything you say to them will be used against you in court.
Similarly, the right to an attorney, which is an equally powerful right, must also be exercised upon your arrest. When one invokes their right to counsel, all interrogation by law enforcement outside the presence of an attorney is strictly prohibited. Of course, when invoking either of these rights, you must do so in such a way that law enforcement will clearly understand what you are asking as that is the best way to ensure your rights are protected.
What Is Fraud?
Fraud crimes involve the intentional deception of a person or entity by another for financial or individual gain. Fraud offenses usually consist of false statements, misrepresentations, or conduct that is dishonest. The purpose of fraud is to gain something of value (money or property) by falsely deceiving someone into thinking something which the individual knows to be a lie.
State fraud offenses are investigated and prosecuted by the local sheriff, local police departments, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Florida Highway Patrol and the State’s Attorney’s Office. Federal fraud offenses are investigated and prosecuted by various agencies, including the FBI, IRS, Homeland Security and the Department of Justice.
Some fraud offenses that we have handled include:
- Bank fraud
- Wire fraud
- Mail fraud
- Tax fraud
- Evasion or failure to pay income tax
- Duties on imports or exports
- Failure to withhold/pay employee social security tax
- Failure to withhold/pay employee federal tax
- Theft of government funds via tax schemes
- Medicaid fraud
- Medicare fraud
- Insurance fraud
- Staged fires
- Staged car accidents
- Health care fraud
- Securities fraud
- Welfare fraud
- Food stamp fraud
- Credit card fraud
- Passport fraud
- Immigration fraud
- Real estate fraud
- Mortgage fraud
- Identity theft
- Organized schemes to defraud
- Ponzi schemes
- Practicing or contracting without a license
What Are Potential Penalties For Fraud In Florida?
Fraud crimes range from being misdemeanors, (the least serious), to felonies, (the most serious). As a result, the possible penalties for crimes of fraud may include heavy fines and imprisonment ranging from one day to as much as life. In addition to these legal penalties, a fraud conviction can have other serious consequences. A fraud conviction will affect employment opportunities as most employers run background checks before hiring and often do not even give persons with criminal records a chance for an interview much less employment as fraud is a “crime of dishonesty.”
In addition, under Federal and Florida law, one convicted of a felony fraud offense may no longer possess and/or purchase a firearm. Worse, in Florida, one convicted of a felony fraud offense may also no longer vote as convicted felons in Florida are strictly prohibited from voting. A fraud conviction of any degree or level can also have serious consequences on one’s ability to receive financial aid for post-secondary education, and it may impact an individual’s ability to keep or obtain a license such as a professional license (doctor, lawyer, teacher, law enforcement). A criminal conviction, especially a felony conviction, even though totally unrelated to the practice of any profession, may impact the ability to hold that license and may result in a revocation.