Allegations of fraud could lead to difficult, long-term consequences for you. If you are convicted of a fraud offense, it could make it difficult for you to get a job or secure a loan for the rest of your life. For this reason, it is important to get a seasoned criminal defense attorney to help you avoid a fraud conviction.
If you have been arrested under suspicion of fraud, now is the time to talk to an attorney. The same is true if you believe you are under investigation but have not yet been charged. A Toledo fraud lawyer could help you review your defense options so that you can protect yourself.
In general, fraud occurs when a person obtains a benefit—typically financial—for themselves or another person through the use of deception. To qualify as fraud, they must have done so knowing that they are likely to cause detriment to another individual.
These terms are defined broadly, given that there are numerous ways a fraud offense could occur. What every fraud conviction should have in common is intent. It is impossible to accidentally defraud someone, given that a measure of intent must be present for the state to prove fraud.
The primary issue regarding intent is whether or not the accused individual purposefully used a misrepresentation of facts in order to obtain a benefit. For example, if the accused was simply mistaken and made the misrepresentation accidentally and in good faith, criminal charges are not warranted.
Fraud must also use some form of deception. This deception could occur in different ways. For example, fraud can happen when a person pretends to be another individual, or could involve forging or altering a document.
There are many different types of fraud offenses. Some types of fraud are primarily covered by federal law. Other allegations could result in a prosecution on a state or federal level. A fraud lawyer in Toledo could build a robust defense in either system of justice.
Wire fraud is not a new phenomenon. However, this form of fraud grew exponentially with the growth of the internet. Wire fraud occurs when a person uses a type of electronic communication in order to commit a fraudulent act. Wire fraud could involve using a stolen identity to access sensitive information or transferring funds from a bank.
Mail fraud involves a fraudulent act that occurs through U.S. mail. While similar to wire fraud, these acts must occur through the postal system instead of in digital form. Mail fraud could involve sending a fraudulent solicitation to someone in the hopes that they hand over their identifying information.
Tax fraud could occur on both the federal and state level. Any act to evade or illegally reduce a tax burden could qualify as tax fraud. While these charges often target individuals, it is possible for businesses and large corporations to commit tax fraud as well. An example of tax fraud could involve overstating losses or deductions with the willful intent to lower the amount owed.
If you are facing fraud charges, a conviction could upend your life in a number of ways. In addition to the threat of fines or prison time, you could also struggle in your personal and professional life for years to come. A fraud arrest is not guaranteed to lead to a conviction. Let a Toledo fraud lawyer review your case and help you develop the strongest defense possible.