Fraud is a serious crime that encompasses a wide range of criminal activities. It’s generally defined as a knowing misrepresentation or omission of material fact that’s intended to result in personal or financial gain. Allegations of fraud can ruin one’s career and reputation, and being convicted can lead to years in federal prison as well as heavy fines. Penalties for federal fraud crimes are often harsher than penalties for state fraud crimes. If you’re facing charges in South Florida, it’s critical that you retain an experienced Naples or Fort Lauderdale fraud lawyer to ensure that your constitutional rights are protected.
The federal criminal defense attorneys at Joffe Law, P.A. defend those who are under investigation or convicted or accused of federal fraud crimes. Our team will fully investigate the charges against you and build the best possible defense for your case.
Do not say anything that might incriminate you. Speak with an attorney first.
Joffe Law, P.A. handles a wide range of federal fraud charges, including:
COVID-19 (Coronavirus) fraud
Updated Monday, April 13, 2020: Florida has seen a sharp rise in Coronavirus-related fraud crimes as the pandemic plagues the state for the second month in a row. Numerous allegations of federal fraud related to COVID have led to arrests and charges nationwide, and many more are expected as the FBI and other federal agencies make good on their promise to aggressively prosecute related crimes. This type of fraud occurs when someone knowingly exploits the Coronavirus crisis to defraud individuals or companies crisis for monetary gain. If you’re arrested and charged with this type of federal crime, call a COVID-19 fraud attorney immediately to discuss your best options for a potent defense.
The federal bank fraud law, 18 U.S.C. Section 1344, states that bank fraud is knowingly executing a scheme to defraud a financial institution to obtain money, credits, assets, or other property. Common examples include check kiting, identity theft, and fraud related to real estate, mortgage, counterfeiting, forgery, credit cards, mail/wire and accounting. Violating the bank fraud law is punishable by a prison sentence of up to 30 years or a fine of up to $1 million.
Bankruptcy fraud occurs when a person falsely declares bankruptcy and tries to conceal assets or inflate liabilities during bankruptcy proceedings. Common types of bankruptcy fraud include concealing assets to avoid liquidation, filing incomplete forms, filing false forms, and filing multiple claims in several states. If convicted under 18 U.S. Code Section 157, you could be fined up to $250,000 or face a prison sentence of up to five years, or both.
Insurance fraud is any duplicitous act performed with the intent to obtain an improper payment from an insurer. It can take many forms, involving auto insurance, homeowners insurance, health insurance fraud, unemployment insurance and Medicaid insurance. Those convicted could face up to 20 years in prison as well as heavy fines. He or she might also be ordered to pay restitution to the insurance company.
Mail fraud and wire fraud
Mail and wire fraud refer to using the U.S. mail or various forms of electronic communication to engage in a fraudulent scheme. The crime often goes along with other offenses, such as bribery, Ponzi schemes, and fraud involving tax, banks, health care, phishing, immigration securities and money laundering. Those convicted could face up to 20 years in prison, as well as other penalties from related charges.
Internet fraud, a type of cyber crime, is the use of the Internet, such as web sites, email, and chat rooms, to defraud victims and take advantage of them. Internet fraud examples include using malware to disable computer systems, and involve Internet banking, Internet auction, non-delivery of merchandise, and credit cards. Penalties can include prison, large fines, and restitution.
Mortgage fraud is any type of real estate or mortgage transaction in which a false representation was made to deceive a business or a person for financial gain. You could be charged with real estate or mortgage fraud for foreclosure schemes, getting a loan with false information, or using straw buyers, for example. If convicted, you could face a prison sentence of up to 30 years and fines up to $1 million, as well as other penalties if convicted of other charges as well.
Fraud involving telemarketing is defined as the fraudulent selling of goods and services over the phone. Examples include club memberships, fundraising scams, loan and credit offers, grant scams, identity theft, medical discount card scams, reloading scams, and business crams. Penalties can include long prison sentences and substantial fines.
Credit card fraud
Credit card fraud is the deceptive, unlawful, or unauthorized use of another person’s credit card account in an attempt to steal money, goods, or services. Examples include debit card fraud, identity theft and credit card fraud, prepaid credit card fraud, corporate or company credit card, and merchant credit card fraud. Penalties include significant fines, long prison sentences, and supervised probation.
Identity theft is unlawfully obtaining someone else’s identifying information and using it commit fraud. It can involve charge cards; stealing Social Security numbers; producing or selling false or stolen identification documents; using false identification documents to defraud the government; trafficking fake IDs; producing, using, or selling equipment to create fake IDs; or using another person’s identification documents with the intent to commit or aid a crime. Penalties in Fort Lauderdale and Naples can include extensive jail time and heavy fines, making it imperative to contact an attorney ASAP after being arrested.
Health care fraud
Health care fraud is defined as knowingly and willfully executing, or attempting to execute, a scheme or artifice to defraud any health care benefit program or to obtain (by means of false or fraudulent pretenses representations, or promises) any of the money or property owned by, or under the custody or control of, any health care benefit program. Examples include billing for services not rendered, filing duplicate claims, false coding of medical procedures, falsifying medical records, and prescribing unnecessary treatments or procedures. Penalties include a maximum of 10 years in prison as well as a fine.
The Broward County fraud attorneys at Joffe Law, P.A. have extensive experience defending against federal charges. We understand the complexities of the law and know how to build a legal strategy to defend against fraud charges. If you have been charged with fraud in Fort Lauderdale or Naples, Florida, contact Joffe Law, P.A. today at 954-723-0007 to schedule a free consultation.