Miami Fraud Defense Attorneys
Florida Fraud Laws & Penalties
Fraud occurs when someone intentionally deceives an individual or entity for their own gain or to cause a loss. The conduct may involve withholding information or falsely representing facts. It can occur in several settings, such as the financial market, real estate, or insurance industries, and consists of various types of conduct. Regardless of how or where the alleged fraud takes place, these crimes are harshly prosecuted, and a conviction carries severe penalties. That is why, if you've been accused, you need to secure aggressive legal representation from the start of your case. Having a Miami fraud defense attorney on your side from the outset can help as you build a defense to challenge the allegations.
At Hager & Schwartz, P.A., our Miami fraud defense lawyers have over 40 years of combined experience and have served as former prosecutors. Not only do we know the laws concerning your rights, but we also know how the State approaches these types of matters. We can provide invaluable insight and a vigorous defense, working the entire time toward a favorable outcome on your behalf.
Experience Handling Fraud Cases in Miami, Florida
Fraud cases are often very complicated, as they involve intentional deceit in various types of transactions. Typically, when prosecuting such matters, the government must prove that the defendant knowingly provided misleading information with the intent to deceive someone else, causing damages as a result.
At Hager & Schwartz, P.A., our Miami fraud defense lawyers have effectively handled numerous types of fraud cases and understand their complexity. That is why, when you turn to us, we will take the time to get to learn about your specific situation and build a solid defense strategy. We will review every document, report, record, and piece of evidence the prosecutor has to identify weaknesses in their case and strengthen your arguments. We are ready to take on even the toughest opponents and matters.
Common Types of Fraud Cases We Handle
Our Miami fraud defense lawyers can represent you in state and federal matters including but not limited to those involving:
- Accounting fraud: A person may be accused of this offense if they tamper with financial records to hide the fact that they are taking money from a company.
- Bank fraud: Defrauding a bank, credit union, or other federally insured financial institution to obtain cash, loans, assets, securities, or other property under the institution's control is illegal. A conviction can result in a lengthy prison sentence and steep fines.
- Credit card fraud: This offense is commonly committed when someone illegally obtains the credit card number of another and uses it to make purchases or withdraw cash.
- Government fraud: This crime occurs when someone deceives the government to obtain funding for a program.
- Healthcare fraud: Often, this crime is committed by healthcare professionals attempting to obtain some benefit. For instance, a doctor may bill a health care program for medication that a patient didn't need, then sell the prescription to make a profit.
- Investment fraud: Commonly referred to as securities fraud, this offense occurs when a person, such as a stockbroker, provides misleading information to influence investors’ buying and selling decisions.
- Mail fraud: This offense occurs when someone uses the United States Postal Service to further a fraud offense. For instance, if a person is trying to obtain another's personal identifying information and they send a fake job announcement through the mail, they may be accused of this crime.
- Mortgage fraud: A person may be charged with this offense if they defraud a federally insured lending institution. Some common types of fraud include straw buying and inflating appraisal amounts.
- Tax fraud: This occurs when someone falsifies information on their tax returns to avoid paying their tax obligation. Often, these charges arise when an individual claims false deductions or does not report all income.
- Wire fraud: This crime is similar to mail fraud in that it is committed when someone uses a service to further a fraud scheme. The difference is that mail fraud occurs when the person uses the USPS for their artifice, whereas wire fraud occurs when the person uses a telecommunications system, such as email or a phone.
Credit Card Fraud Defense in Miami, FL
What is Credit Card Fraud?
Credit card fraud is a type of theft crime that occurs when a person fraudulently uses another person's credit card to make illegal purchases. In the past, people would commit credit card fraud by stealing another person's card and making transactions. Today, it is more common for people to obtain credit card information via the internet illegally, and to make their unlawful purchases online.
One kind of credit card fraud occurs before the recipient ever gets the card. Application fraud is when someone uses someone else’s information to make a new credit card in their name. Application fraud is difficult to do, but with the right tools, it is possible.
Card Not Present Fraud
Card not present (CNP) fraud is when someone obtains the expiration date and account number of someone else’s credit card. The person will then use the card online to purchase items in your name. Card not present fraud is hard to commit and equally hard to prosecute.
In assumed identity fraud, someone will use a temporary address and a false name to obtain a new credit card. Once they get the card, they will purchase items and send them to different locations for pickup, where they will gather their items and get rid of the card. This fraud doesn’t target a real person, and usually only hurts banks.
Representation for Credit Card Fraud Miami
At Hager & Schwartz, P.A., our Miami credit card fraud lawyers are completely committed to giving our clients the hard-hitting and creative legal footwork that they deserve. If you choose to work with our firm, you can be confident that you will receive the personalized solutions that you deserve for your credit card fraud case in Miami, FL.
Embezzlement Defense in Miami, FL
Florida Embezzlement Charges & Laws
Embezzlement is a white collar crime that is legally defined as the fraudulent appropriation of funds which occurs when a third party entrusts another person with funds, and the person steals the third party's funds. It is also the act of misapplying another person's funds or property. It involves stealing money, information, or any other assets that were entrusted to you.
Embezzlement usually occurs within business settings and within financial institutions, which makes it similar to accounting fraud. Embezzlement is a type of fraud that often is accomplished by the offender systematically taking small amounts of assets in order to not be detected.
When embezzlement occurs internally within a business setting, it is the act of an employee illegally taking company funds. In some cases, the employee may try to conceal the theft by tampering with the company's financial records. In most cases, the theft will be discovered, and investigations will trace back to the person who committed embezzlement.
Several people can embezzle property or funds from clients or businesses, but some workers are more likely to embezzle than others.
The most common embezzlers include:
- Bank tellers or bank managers;
- Retail workers who steal clothes from the store;
- Payroll managers.
Four Factors of Embezzlement
This statutory offense differs depending on the state, but usually involves four factors.
- First, the act must have been fraudulent, meaning that the offender knowingly took the assets into their own possession.
- Second, conversion must occur in that the property owner's rights were violated.
- It is also important to remember that one cannot embezzle their own property, as part of the definition of the law is that it is taking the property of another.
- It is also only defined as embezzlement if the one who was stolen from had lawful possession of the property. If they only were managing the property, the offender would be charged with larceny rather than embezzlement.
Forgery Defense in Miami, FL
Forgery is the act of criminal falsification through the use of an imitation or copy that is presented as an original. Forgery is committed when a person purposefully creates a copy of a thing such as another person's signature and uses the copy to deceive a third party in an attempt to illegally obtain funds. For example, if some steals another person's check book and forges the rightful owner's signature to cash the check, he/she will not only have committed theft, but also forgery. He/she could then be charged with two separate criminal offenses by Florida law enforcement.
Healthcare Fraud Defense in Miami, FL
What is Healthcare Fraud?
Healthcare fraud is considered to be a white collar crime, which is commonly committed by healthcare professionals; however, it can be committed by the patient as well.
Healthcare fraud can involve professionals in the medical field coming from all different medical occupations. It can be committed by doctors, chiropractors, psychiatric hospitals, laboratories, pharmacies, nursing homes, ambulance services, hospitals and home healthcare. With healthcare fraud, there are no exclusions; virtually anyone in the healthcare industry can be guilty of committing a financially motivated scheme.
How is Healthcare Fraud Committed?
Healthcare fraud is commonly committed by those individuals that have a position of influence and power. Healthcare fraud may be difficult to detect because a number of the players involved may not be aware that they are a victim of such a scheme; however, when a paper trail uncovers fraudulent activities, the individual faces serious legal ramifications including fines, incarceration and sometimes the loss of the right to practice in the field of medicine.
Fraudulent health care schemes take on many forms and in many cases they involve the following:
- Filing false claims for the purpose of making a profit
- Billing insurance companies for services never rendered
- Filing duplicate claims for rendered services
- Modifying medical records
- Billing for a non-covered service as a covered service
- Prescribing unnecessary treatment
- And much more.
In addition to the healthcare provider, members can commit healthcare fraud as well. However, members commit healthcare fraud differently; they usually commit fraud by
- Providing false information when applying for an insurance program or services
- Forge prescriptions
- Sell their prescriptions
- Loan someone else their insurance card
- Use transportation benefits for non-medical related purposes
Mail Fraud Defense in Miami, FL
What is Considered Mail Fraud?
Because USPS is instituted by the federal government, any tampering with its activities is considered to be a federal crime. Essentially this constitutes an act that intentionally interferes with someone's property or services through mail or wire communication. The typical example of this offense is smashing mailboxes. This is indeed considered to be a federal offense, but the problem extends much farther than that. There are a number of other forms that this kind of deception can take.
This can come in the form of employment, financial, telemarketing, and lottery fraud, as well as fraud against the elderly. Some more specific types of this intentional dishonesty is advertising fake job opportunities, mystery shopper scams, pyramid schemes, credit card scams, Ponzi schemes, chain letters, and government "look-alike" mail.
The specific law that deals with this offense is U.S. Code Title 18 Chapter 63 Section 1341 through Section 1451. The punishment for this infraction is quite severe. A person who is charged and condemned of such an act is subject to a fine, up to 20 years in prison, or both. As time goes on, the courts interpret the statutes dealing with the crime more and more loosely. Now a person can be convicted of a "scheme to defraud" and it can include any dishonest or fraudulent acts that involve mail or an interstate carrier. Because of the new flexibility in interpretation it is much easier for the government to get a conviction.
Federal Mail Fraud Defense in Miami, Florida
If you or a loved one have recently been charged with mail fraud, then you are likely already well aware of the detrimental consequences that something of this nature can have on your life. As this is considered a federal crime, if you are successfully convicted, you will face anywhere from 20 to 30 years in prison, along with steep monetary fines. By legal definition, this crime is a wide term that simply means you used the postal service in your efforts to commit fraud. This means that this term can cover and include numerous other crimes, such as mortgage fraud, identity theft, and health care fraud.
Florida Wire Fraud Charges & Defense
Wire fraud is a legal concept that punishes people who have communicated electronically about fraudulent activities they planned to commit prior to actually committing the crime. In today's world, it is very easy for people to commit wire fraud, which is punishable as a separate criminal offense. For example, if two people planned to commit bank fraud and they communicated about their intentions via email before committing the crime, they could be charged with both bank fraud and wire fraud. This means that they would be facing charges for two different, yet related, offenses.
Aggressive Wire Fraud Lawyer in Miami, FL
If you are successfully convicted of wire fraud, you will be facing life-altering consequences that should not be taken lightly. These can include anything from fines up to $1,000,000 and up to thirty years spent imprisoned, depending on the individual circumstances of your crime. These are not penalties that can be shrugged off or taken lightly. You need to be confident that you are receiving the legal representation that you deserve in combating these charges.
For this reason, it is imperative that you do not hesitate to contact a tenacious Miami wire fraud lawyer as quickly as possible to discuss your case and the best solution to reach your desired result. At Hager & Schwartz, P.A., our Miami wire fraud attorneys are well-versed in this area of the law.
Mortgage Fraud Defense in Miami, FL
What is Mortgage Fraud?
Mortgage fraud is a broad term that can encompass many different criminal acts. A person is typically charged with this crime when they have made a material misrepresentation, misstatement, or omission in their mortgage loan application. People may provide false details on their application (names, social security numbers, employment information, financial information, appraisal information, etc.) in order to deceive the financial institution into approving their applications. The fraud act becomes complete when that application is submitted to an underwriter or lender who then relies on it to make a decision regarding the funding, purchasing, or insuring of a loan.
Types of Mortgage Fraud
Mortgage fraud involves the defrauding of a federally insured lending institution and can be accomplished in a variety of ways, including silent second schemes, foreclosure schemes, or the utilization of inflated appraisals and air loans.
The majority of mortgage fraud schemes involve one of the following:
- Straw buyer loans used to purchase property - A "straw buyer" purchases property for an investor who would normally not qualify for a mortgage loan due to them possessing a number of other property loans. Should the investor default due to market fluctuations, they can be charged with fraud due to using deception to obtain the property in the first place.
- Inflated appraisals - This scheme also involves a straw buyer purchasing property for an investor. The property is purchased and sold several times, each time the price increasing through utilization of corrupt appraisers and brokers. The proceeds from these sales are often appropriated by the investor, appraiser, or other involved party.
Defense for Mortgage Fraud Cases in Florida
If you are being investigated for mortgage fraud, or have been charged with this crime, it is crucial that you contact a Miami mortgage fraud lawyer immediately. We understand the gravity of mortgage fraud charges, and the severe penalties they can carry, and we provide extensive and aggressive legal representation that is intended to bring beneficial results in your case.
Standing By Your Side Throughout Your Case
The penalties for any fraud crime in Florida are steep and can have life-altering consequences. At Hager & Schwartz, P.A., we recognize that, which is why we will stand up for you from the start of your case until its conclusion.
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