Fraud is a broad category of white-collar crime that involves using dishonesty to seek financial gain. Individuals who face accusations of white-collar crimes such as fraud are often professionals who work in an office setting or have access to funds through their employment. These cases often rely on substantial documentary evidence and involve a great deal of investigation and discovery before a resolution is possible.
Although these offenses typically do not involve violence, they are still subject to diligent and aggressive prosecution. Engaging a Fort Oglethorpe fraud lawyer could help you minimize or avoid the significant consequences of fraud charges. Contacting a criminal lawyer to represent your interests may be an important first step in achieving a successful outcome in your case.
Fraud encompasses various offenses that all involve some element of intentional dishonesty to achieve financial benefits, whether in the form of money or property. The deception that occurs in a fraud crime may be the direct misrepresentation of facts or the omission of essential details. Individuals may also commit fraud by failing to correct a misunderstanding or purposely misleading other people.
Fraud can range from low-level, one-time actions designed to illegally obtain money or goods to large-scale criminal operations that involve multiple actors and thousands of dollars of losses for those affected. As fraud crimes can have severe ramifications, contacting a local lawyer for legal representation may be beneficial.
Some fraud offenses fall under the general classification of theft, while others have code sections specifically devoted to them. Common fraud offenses include embezzlement, forgery, credit card fraud, and identity fraud.
Embezzlement is a type of theft in which individuals who have been entrusted with funds belonging to others due to their jobs or official positions use those funds without consent and for their own financial benefit. This offense may be as simple as cashiers who pocket money from customers rather than placing it in the register or investment professionals who misdirect client funds into their personal accounts.
Under Official Code of Georgia Annotated. § 16-9-1, forgery occurs when an individual falsifies a written document to defraud or harm another person. Forgery includes signing another person’s name, signing the name of someone who does not exist, writing checks in a fictitious name or the name of someone else without their consent, and other similar actions.
State law makes it illegal to possess or fraudulently use credit or debit cards belonging to others without their consent to purchase goods or services. This type of fraud can occur when a person uses a forged or stolen card, a canceled or revoked card, or an expired card with fraudulent intent.
O.C.G.A. § 16-9-121 establishes identity fraud as a criminal offense. Identity fraud occurs when an individual uses the personal identifying information of another person without their consent and for financial benefit. For example, an individual using others’ social security numbers or birth dates to obtain credit cards or bank accounts without their permission would be identity fraud.
Identity fraud also occurs when parents or guardians use the personal identifying information of children under 18 to commit fraud, such as taking out credit cards in their names. Another common form of identity fraud involves using the personal identifying information of deceased persons.
Penalties for fraud convictions can range widely, depending on the nature of the fraud and the amount of money or property involved. For instance, identity theft can lead to a prison sentence ranging from one to ten years and a fine of up to $100,000. A sentencing court also may order individuals to pay restitution to the person or business who was the subject of the fraud.
Forgery charges result in different penalties depending on the degree of the forgery involved, ranging from a maximum of 15 years of imprisonment for first-degree forgery to less than one year of jail time for fourth-degree. As fraud charges can entail high fines and lengthy prison sentences, contacting an attorney in the area may be helpful.
Avoiding a jail or prison sentence and a criminal conviction on your record are likely your primary objectives when facing fraud charges. A full investigation into the evidence against you may be necessary to effectively mount a defense on your behalf. A skilled Fort Oglethorpe fraud lawyer could be vital to your case.
You may be able to get a clear assessment of your situation and the options available to you by engaging legal counsel. Call today to schedule a consultation.