Defense Against Fraud Charges
Fraud is a relatively broad term that applies to most white collar crimes in which a person or company knowingly devises or participates in a scheme to defraud someone or obtain money or property, using false or fraudulent pretenses, representations or promises and there was intent to defraud. In California, fraud crimes fall under a number of different statutes and may be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the facts of the case. In some cases, a parallel civil fraud case may also be filed.
The consequences for a fraud offense vary depending on the loss amount, the number of alleged victims and whether it has been charged by state or federal authorities. Some fraud cases can result in severe sentencing with the possibility of heavy fines and years of imprisonment. Even misdemeanor or first time felony fraud cases can result in convictions that will follow someone for the rest of their life.
A defense strategy needs to be developed at the earliest opportunity. Ideally this is when the case is first being investigated and before charges are filed. For example, mistakes or errors where there is no specific intent to defraud does not constitute fraud. If the conduct was merely negligent or reckless, it is not fraud. There are good faith defenses to fraud charges which include good faith reliance on the advice of counsel or other experts. In regulated businesses which can have complex rules and regulations, there may be other viable defenses.
If you or someone you know is under investigation or facing charges for a fraud related crime, do not wait to contact an aggressive but creative criminal defense attorney with a deep understanding of California's nuanced laws. At Green & Associates, our experienced legal team has the resources and knowledge you need to have the charges against you reduced or dismissed. Call (213) 233-2260 as soon as you can to speak with a lawyer about your legal options and rights during a comprehensive consultation.
The Many Types of Fraud Crimes
Under California law (Penal Code, Insurance Code, Welfare & Institutions Code, etc.) and federal law (United States Code), there are a number of statutes under which fraud cases may be filed, including the following:
- Grand Theft
- Mail Fraud
- Wire Fraud
- Health Care Fraud
- Honest Services Fraud
- Medicare Fraud
- Medi-Cal Fraud
- Internet Fraud
- Insurance Fraud
- Bait and Switch
- Racketeering (RICO)
- Tax Fraud
- Bank/Bankruptcy Fraud
- Real Estate Fraud
- Workers' Compensation Fraud
Many common fraud scams, such as telemarketing fraud, health care fraud, or Ponzi schemes, are also investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and may carry severe consequences. A well-experienced lawyer will act on your behalf to investigate the charges against you and conduct skilled negotiations with the authorities to secure the best possible outcome.
What are the Penalties for Fraud in California?
As a "wobbler offense," some state fraud crimes may be charged as misdemeanors, felonies, or even be prosecuted on both the state and federal level. Therefore, the penalties can vary drastically depending on the nature and magnitude of the crime, the loss amount, as well as whether the defendant has a criminal history.
If charged and convicted of a fraud crime, you may suffer serious financial burden from fines and/or restitution paid to victims, potential loss of freedom from imprisonment, and loss of a professional license. You may even have a difficult time trying to find gainful employment, or have your immigration status jeopardized, due to the conviction. An experienced fraud defense lawyer will fight on your behalf to minimize the penalties against you. The aggressive legal team at Green & Associates will do everything we can to achieve the best possible outcome for your case, no matter what the circumstances.
The Aggressive Legal Protection You Need
When faced with the potentially severe consequences of fraud related charges in Los Angeles, do not wait to contact Green & Associates. Your future and freedom may be in jeopardy. With a highly experienced attorney on your side, your legal rights will be protected every step of the way. It is not uncommon for fraud crimes to be based on misleading information or false accusations. Get the help you need by contacting us for an in-depth consultation.