Florida is considered a haven for white-collar crime and fraud cases are vigorously prosecuted at the state and federal level. If you have been accused of engaging in criminal fraudulent activities, you can minimize the likelihood of a conviction by working with an attorney who can provide a comprehensive and aggressive defense.
Boca Raton fraud lawyers are equipped to scrutinize the complex evidence involved in financial crime cases and build a defense strategy that is personalized to fit the unique facts of your case. Contact a qualified criminal defense attorney that can advocate for you. En Español.
Fraud is a broad term that encompasses a number of illegal activities motivated by financial or personal gain. Florida criminalizes a wide range of fraudulent practices, most of which involve a form of theft by deception. Crimes involving fraud are referred to collectively as fraudulent practices and are individually defined in Chapter 817 of the Florida Statutes.
Chapter 817 is broken down into four main sections: (I) False pretenses and frauds generally, (II) Credit card crimes (III) Credit card service organizations and (IV) Credit card counseling services. There are more than 50 different criminal fraudulent practices enumerated in Chapter 817.
Examples of Fraud
Some examples of fraudulent practices include, but are not limited to:
- Obtaining property by false personation
- Scheme to defraud
- Making false statement to obtain property or credit
- False or fraudulent insurance claims
- Fraudulent refunds
- Fraudulent use of personal identification information
- Misleading advertisements
- Mortgage fraud
- Fraudulent use of credit cards
Florida Communications Fraud Act
The legislature passed the Florida Communications Fraud Act with the intention of protecting consumers from organized schemes to defraud using communications technology. Under Section 817.034, a scheme to defraud occurs when a person engages in a systematic, continuing course of conduct with intent to defraud or obtain property from another by false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises or willful misrepresentations of a future act.
A scheme to defraud is divided into two different offenses–organized fraud and communications fraud. The severity of punishment depends on whether the person is charged with organized fraud or communications fraud and the aggregate value of the property obtained or attempted to be obtained.
Organized fraud occurs when a person engages in a scheme to defraud and obtains property. Organized fraud is the more serious of the two offenses and is punishable as follows:
- Property obtained has an aggregate value of less than $20,000 (Third-degree felony)
- Property obtained has an aggregate value of $20,000 or more, but less than $50,000 (Second-degree felony)
- Property obtained has an aggregate value of $50,000 or more (First-degree felony)
A person commits communications fraud when they engage in a scheme to defraud and, in furtherance of that scheme, communicates with another with intent to obtain property. If someone uses fraud to obtain property that is valued at less than $300, then they can be convicted of fraud in the first-degree. If someone uses fraud to obtain property that is valued at $300 or more, then they can be convicted of fraud in the third-degree.
Contacting a Boca Raton Fraud Lawyer
If you are facing charges for fraud, it is vital that you get in touch with a legal advocate. The consequences of a fraud conviction can be quite severe which is why it is important to seek counsel. A qualified Boca Raton fraud lawyer may have extensive experience defending individuals and business entities facing a variety of fraud charges. Your criminal defense attorney can be committed to obtaining the most positive outcome possible for you. Contact an attorney to receive a confidential consultation.