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Criminal fraud is an offense wherein the accused provided false information or stole the information of others for monetary gain. Those convicted of fraud face penalties in the form of jail time, probation, fines and restitution. There are many nuances to criminal fraud.  The following is a very brief description of the most common types of fraud.

Healthcare fraud

Healthcare fraud involves a deception against private or government healthcare programs. The most common type is the submission of false claims to Medicare on behalf of a patient for services or medicines never provided.  The law punishes all those involved in the fraud whether it be the health care professionals, owners and employees of clinics, home health agencies, pharmacies, recruiters and even patients who accept kickbacks. The penalties for healthcare fraud are severe.  Those who are found guilty face long terms of imprisonment, repayment of the money paid by the programs (restitution), fines, loss of licenses and exclusion from further participation in healthcare programs.

Tax fraud

When an individual or business knowingly makes false statements to the IRS with the intention of avoiding paying taxes, they can be prosecuted for tax fraud. Also known as tax evasion, this type of fraud is punishable by fines, prison time, restitution, and probation.

Securities fraud

Securities fraud occurs when a professional gives false stock or commodities information to an investor with the intention of having them buy or sell, which is in violation of securities laws. The most widely known type of securities fraud is insider trading. When someone is convicted of securities fraud, they can face fines, imprisonment, probation and, if applicable, loss of their professional license.  

Mortgage fraud

Mortgage fraud can be committed in two ways: either by a borrower making false representations on a mortgage application in order to deceive a lender or other mortgage professional into providing financing, or by an industry insider who gives false information in order to inflate the value of the property being mortgaged. Mortgage fraud requires the intention to defraud and does not pertain to innocent mistakes. It is punishable by significant fines, imprisonment, probation, and restitution.

Aggravated Identity Theft

Aggravated identity theft occurs when someone steals the identity belonging to another person.  Examples of this type of fraud are the filing of false tax returns for refunds, illegal immigrants using the identities to obtain documents and purchasing items using stolen identities. In addition to fines, restitution and probation, an aggravated identity theft charge in federal court carries a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of two years.

Mail and wire fraud

Mail and wire fraud is a unique type of fraud that focuses on the mode of communication used in carrying out the fraud rather than the specific type of fraud committed. Any type of fraud that utilizes the mail system or wire technology, such as the internet, can be charged as mail or wire fraud.  In this age of technology where transactions are routinely conducted via the internet, wire fraud is commonly charged in conjunction with other crimes.

Help for those facing fraud charges

If you are facing either state or federal criminal fraud charges, contact the criminal defense team at the Law Offices of Sabrina Puglisi for a free consultation.