Today, fraudulent crimes are exceedingly common and they are committed
in all types of situations. A single fraud scheme can involve a bankruptcy
filing, immigration documents, rubber checks, health insurance, identity
theft, and so much more.
What is fraud exactly? Someone commits
fraud when they gain something, such as money, goods, or services from an individual,
a government entity, or a business by knowingly lying or misrepresenting
a fact. For example, they can lie about their income, their driver’s
license number, their name, their address, or their immigration status.
People often commit fraud when buying or selling real estate or stocks,
or when they falsify information, such as their income or taxes so they
can obtain benefits (e.g. food stamps, Medicare, etc.) from the state
or federal government.
Various Types of Fraud
There are dozens of ways that a person can commit fraud. For example, many types of
white collar crimes are considered fraud, but identity theft and
credit card fraud are also considered fraud. Other types of fraud, include:
- Check fraud
- Bankruptcy fraud
- Immigration fraud
- Healthcare fraud (perpetuated by individuals and healthcare professionals)
- Telemarketing scams
- Ponzi schemes
- Mail and wire fraud
- Securities fraud
- Insurance fraud
- Tax fraud
- Medicare and Social Security fraud
Depending on the facts of the case, fraud can be prosecuted on the state
or federal level. Often, a fraudulent crime violates both and state federal
laws. In that situation, the state and federal prosecutors will review
the defendant’s case and determine whether it should be prosecuted
in the state or federal court system.
Arizona’s Fraud Statute
On the state level, fraud is covered under
Section 13-2310 of the Arizona Revised Statutes. Under this section, any person who knowingly
obtains any type of benefit by means of fraud or material omission is
guilty of a
Class 2 felony offense.
Under Section 13-702, a Class 2 felony is punishable by 3 to 12.5 years
for a first offense and by a maximum fine of $150,000.
Please be aware that if you are being accused of fraud and you had repeated
offenses, for example, you wrote several checks from someone else’s
checking account, or you used another’s credit card without their
consent on multiple occasions, you could face additional charges for each
time you committed fraud.
When someone is facing fraud charges in Arizona, the state may decide that
it’s a federal matter, which means the defendant can be prosecuted
in federal court. Generally, the penalties for federal offenses are harsher
than the penalties for a similar offense on the state level. Also, the
defendant can be ordered to pay civil penalties, such as the victim’s
attorney fees, and they could be compelled to pay restitution to the victims
of their crimes.
If you are facing state or federal charges for fraud,
contact our Phoenix criminal defense firm to meet with
Attorney Davidson, who is a former Maricopa County prosecutor!