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Fraud Charges in Phoenix, Arizona

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!