Most fraud crimes are considered white-collar crimes that may be prosecuted at the federal and/or state level, and convictions may result in misdemeanor or felony convictions. Unfortunately, under federal and Texas law, penalties for fraud and other white-collar crimes can be incredibly steep and may include significant financial penalties and lengthy prison sentences. Fraud convictions can also lead to the loss of professional licenses and the elimination of many job prospects.
Fraud attorney, Aaron Perry, understands that fraud charges can be scary because of the serious and long-term effects of a fraud conviction. However, an experienced attorney can make fraud, and other white-collar crime charges a little less daunting for defendants. These charges do not necessarily have to lead to convictions, especially when you have an attorney vigorously defending your charges and negotiating with prosecutors on your behalf.
Allegations of fraud are made when a party receives a personal or financial gain as a result of deceitful conduct or representations. Financial gain is not limited to money. It can also include property, securities, or any other type of asset that enhances someone’s personal or financial well-being. There are many types of criminal fraud such as credit card fraud, voter fraud, securities fraud, identity theft, mortgage fraud, mail fraud, tax fraud, adoption fraud, conspiracy, asset misappropriation, bribery, counterfeiting, racketeering, and insurance fraud.
What To Do When Facing Charges Of Fraud
If you are facing fraud charges or believe that you are being investigated for fraud, it is important to take immediate action and contact an experienced fraud attorney. When attorneys can get out ahead of a fraud investigation, sometimes charges and potential charges can be reduced or avoided altogether. It is also important that you do not speak with other people about the matter and that you do not engage in any conduct that may make your case worse such as falsifying or destroying documents and other evidence.
Defenses To Fraud Charges
As mentioned above, fraud charges do not always lead to fraud convictions, especially when you have a solid defense and expert legal representation. Frequently raised fraud defenses include the following:
- There was no fraudulent intent. Intent is an element of proving fraud, and if a defendant did not have an intent to defraud, there simply is no fraud. Sometimes lack of intent can be chalked up to simple errors, accidental omissions, and misinterpretations or misunderstandings. Sometimes one party is responsible for the fraudulent conduct, and several people achieve personal or financial gains as a result. These gains do not prove fraud unless intent can be proven as well.
- The defendant did not receive a benefit or gain. A defendant’s conduct may be deceitful or misleading. However, if he or she does not realize there is any type of benefit or gain from the misleading conduct, there is no fraud. In order to have a case for fraud, it must be proven that the defendant personally or financially benefited as a result of his or her conduct.
- The defendant was misidentified. This often happens when fraud occurs in the workplace, and more than one person has access to bank accounts, documents, or files used to carry out fraudulent conduct. As mentioned above, sometimes more than one person can benefit from fraudulent conduct, but it is only the person with an intent to defraud who may be guilty of the crime.
- The defendant was following orders. When a defendant carries out orders from superiors to engage in deceitful conduct, additional facts must be examined in order to prove fraud. If a defendant feels threatened with immediate harm by a supervisor if they do not follow orders, the defense may be the defendant was under duress and therefore not guilty of fraud.
- Defendants may also claim that they were just following orders and did not realize that what they were doing was deceitful or dishonest.
If you have been charged with or are under investigation for fraud, contact attorney, Aaron Perry, as soon as possible to schedule a consultation. Our fraud team will conduct a thorough review of your case and discuss your potential defenses. We will also discuss other options such as negotiating with prosecutors and potentially pleading to lesser crimes.
Contact The Law Firm of Aaron W. Perry, PLLC at 713-393-7788 or submit an online form and a member of our legal team will get in touch with you. Follow our Facebook page to keep up with our law firm news and other legal information.