Criminal Fraud Defense | Contact A New York Fraud Lawyer
Rates of criminal fraud in New York significantly increased during the last economic downturn and has continued to rise ever since. As a result, New York prosecutors have heightened efforts to crack down on these crimes, and in their fervor, they have accused many innocent individuals. If you have been charged with criminal fraud, it is imperative that you get experienced a New York fraud lawyer on your side. The penalties for fraud are severe, and you will need counsel hardened in dealing with difficult prosecutors and who can vigorously argue for your innocence.
Proving Criminal Fraud In New York
Generally, criminal fraud includes deceptive conduct where an individual tries to gain some financial advantage over another through deceit or misrepresentation. The exact elements of fraud may vary depending upon the specific allegations; however, the general elements that prosecutor typically needs to show include:
- Misrepresentation. To prove fraud, prosecutors will have to show that you made a material misrepresentation of fact. The misrepresentation will have to address something of significance and not some minor fact or detail. For example, a false address in a bank fraud case may not be material if the address played no part in the bank’s decision. However, if you misrepresent your authority to withdraw money, that fact may be deemed material if it directly led to the harmful act. Whether a fact is deemed material will depend upon the specific facts of your case.
- Knowledge of Falsehood. The accused will usually need to be aware that the statement made is false. In other words, a simple mistake or reasonable error may not be enough to support a fraud case. For example, if you make a rounding error in a mortgage application and misstate your income, that error may not constitute fraud if it was an honest mistake. However, a knowing misstatement on such an application with the hopes of being approved for a loan that you ordinarily may not qualify for may constitute fraud.
- Reliance. A unique element in fraud cases is that the victim must rely on the fraudulent statement. So even if the accused intentionally makes numerous fraudulent statements, this may not rise to criminal fraud if prosecutors cannot prove that the victim in fact relied on any of these statements in taking the act.
- Harm. Generally, even if all the other elements are proven, prosecutors will still need to show that the victim suffered some financial harm from the fraudulent act. If there is no actual harm suffered, the defendant may be able to avoid liability.
Types of Criminal Fraud
There are many different types of fraud charges all with distinct circumstances and elements. Some common types of fraud include:
- Credit Card Fraud. Credit card fraud is usually a type of identity theft where an individual will take another person’s credit card number to make unauthorized charges. Someone may gain access to the credit card by hacking into a computer system, stealing someone’s credit card statements in the mail, scamming the victim over the phone and other forms of deception.
- Securities Fraud. Someone typically engages in securities fraud by making fraudulent statements about a company or security to pump up the value of the security or to decrease it. The individual would profit off this false information.
- Bankruptcy Fraud. Bankruptcy is meant to help individuals out of situations of crushing debt. However, many individuals may take advantage of the bankruptcy process to avoid paying back their debts while retaining many of the benefits that led them to bankruptcy in the first place. Someone may engage in bankruptcy fraud by misstating his or her assets and holdings, or misrepresenting the nature of the debt to qualify for bankruptcy.
- Mortgage Fraud. A mortgage is essentially a loan of a large sum of money. Many individuals engage in mortgage fraud by misstating their assets and financial health so that they can receive a larger loan amount.
- Identity Theft. Identity theft encompasses a broad range of fraud crimes and is probably the fastest growing type of fraud. An individual typically engages in identity theft by pretending to be someone else. The individual engaged in fraud can benefit by stealing someone else’s assets, making unauthorized purchases or committing crimes under the name of someone else.
- Insurance Fraud. Fraud involving insurance can involve almost any type of insurance. Frequent targets of insurance fraud include health insurance companies, auto insurance companies and even life insurance policies. For example, someone may engage in auto insurance fraud by staging an accident to collect the payout or may misstate the true costs of repair to reap a benefit.
- Government Fraud. Someone engages in government fraud by making false claims against the government. This can frequently occur with Medicare and Social Security benefits. For example, patients and health care providers may engage in Medicare fraud by placing false claims, recommending unnecessary procedures or inflating the cost of services.
The above are just some of the more common types of fraud. If you or someone you know has been charged with fraud, you will want to speak with an experienced attorney to learn the exact charges brought against you and your options for defense.
Contact A New York Fraud Lawyer
If you have been charged with fraud in New York, it is important that you speak with an experienced attorney. The penalties for fraud can be very severe. To discuss the specific facts of your case with a New York fraud attorney, contact Frederick L. Sosinsky at (212) 285-2270. Mr. Sosinsky will help you review your options and identify your best defenses. Don’t hesitate. Call today.