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Harwood Heights Fraud Defense Attorney

Fraud is one of the most common criminal charges reported in Harwood Heights, involving people who maliciously deceive others for their self-interest. It can be done through misrepresentation, forming false statements that can be misleading, or intimidation. Fraud comes in many types, often involving huge sums of money or property and people getting harmed because of it.

Harwood Heights Fraud Defense Attorney admin ajax 300x200Penalties for fraud crimes vary depending on the type of fraud committed, and additional charges may be imposed if the victim is a senior citizen, someone with a disability, or a government institution. If a person is found guilty, they will definitely face the penalties attributed to the fraud committed.

If you find yourself under investigation for fraud, you need the best Harwood Heights fraud attorney who can defend you during fraud investigations and trials.

At Chicago Criminal Defense Attorneys, you are guaranteed a legal team who will look into the charges and create the best defense that will clear your reputation in the process. We can also help you if you are a victim of fraud and you wish to pursue a case against the fraud suspects.

Call Chicago Criminal Defense Attorneys at (312) 634-6529 for your Free Consultation with a Harwood Heights Fraud Attorney!

Definition of Fraud

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Under the U.S. criminal code, fraud occurs if you are knowingly tricking someone by misrepresenting important information, causing people to believe or rely on this fake fact and getting them into trouble. Fraud can still persist even if the scheme was not completely successful or completed.

Types of Fraud

Fraud is covered in various sections of the Illinois Criminal Code, each section highlighting the various types of fraud and their respective penalties.

Below are the various types of fraud listed in the Illinois Criminal Code:

1. Deceptive Practices and Bad Checks (720 ILCS 5/17)

Under the code, a “deceptive practice” is any act that involves a person with the intent to defraud in the following scenarios:

  • Intentionally misleading or threatening a person to let go of their property or planned investment.
  • If you are a high-ranking officer of a bank or another financial institution, you are actively receiving or allowing the deposit or investment made by clients even if the financial institution you are working for is at risk of failing or is insolvent.
  • Knowingly releasing false statements promoting a property or service that does not exist.

“Bad checks” are charged to people who have done one of the following:

  • Issuing a check with the intent to pay for services, properties, or tax obligations even if the check will not be honored.
  • Delivering a check amounting to more than $150 to reimburse a creditor even if it will not be accepted and you did not put funds on the check within seven days of being informed that it did not push through.

Other crimes against banks and other financial institutions involving “false statements” and “possession of fraudulent checks” are also considered fraud.

2. Mail and Wire Fraud (720 ILCS 5/17-24)

Mail fraud is committed if there is evidence that you devised or intended to create a scheme to fraudulently collect money or property or sell fake products through the United States Postal Service or any private courier. You can still be charged with mail fraud even if you are the one who received the mail.

Wire fraud, meanwhile, works similarly to mail fraud, but this time, it will involve transmitting signals, photos, videos, sound, and writing through radio, television, phone calls, text, and email.

3. State Benefits Fraud (720 ILCS 5/17-6)

A state benefits fraud is committed if you obtained or attempted to get benefits from the state using false information or lying about your eligibility.

4. Defrauding the Illinois Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children (720 ILCS 5/17-6.3)

Specific penalties are listed in the criminal code for people who attempt to defraud the Illinois Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children. It is illegal to use or possess WIC food stamps or even be a part of the program in a way that violates the rules set by the Department of Human Services or the Illinois Department of Public Health.

5. Insurance Fraud (720 ILCS 5/17-10.5)

Insurance fraud is done when you knowingly attempt or obtain money or property from an insurance company through a false claim. The penalties for insurance fraud depend on the amount of money you obtained fraudulently from the insurance company.

6. Forgery (720 ILCS 5/17-3)

Forgery is defined by the criminal code as knowingly creating a false document or altering a document with the intention of defrauding another person. You will also be considered guilty of forgery if you also distribute forged documents or possess them with the intention of delivering them. The document in question must be capable of deceiving someone.

7. Identity Theft (720 ILCS 5/16-30)

Identity theft occurs if you knowingly use someone else’s information and documents with the intent of committing a felony or obtaining money, services, credit, and others. Penalties depend on the money involved and whether the victim is part of the army or a senior citizen.

8. Computer Fraud (720 ILCS 5/17-50)

Computer fraud occurs if you did one of the following

  • Access or enable access to a computer or computer files with the intention of committing fraud.
  • Use, damage, or destroy a computer or files with the intention of defrauding someone.
  • Using a computer fraudulently and using it to obtain money.

9. Financial Exploitation of an Elderly Person or a Person with Disability (720 ILCS 5/17-56)

This clause covers fraud committed towards elderly or disabled people through the use of force, deceit, or intimidation, causing these victims to transfer their control to you despite who you are or illegally disposing of their property without them knowing.

10. Social Security and Medicaid Fraud (42 USC 1383/ 18 USC 1347)

Social security fraud occurs if you knowingly try to increase your social security benefit payments through false representation or statements. Meanwhile, if you defraud a health care benefit program or even attempt it, you will be charged with Medicaid fraud.

Fraud Case Investigation in Harwood Heights

When a person is charged with fraud, a fraud investigation will proceed to document any fraud activities. Any evidence found during the investigation will be used during the court trial, which will then determine what crime was committed and what penalties will be imposed.

Harwood Heights Fraud Defense Attorney Canva Justice Law Hammer 300x205Several states and even federal agencies will be involved in a fraud case depending on the type of fraud committed and the victims of the said fraud. Some of the agencies that may be involved include the Illinois Department of Health and Human Service, the Attorney-General’s Office, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and even the Internal Revenue Service.

When you contact us after being charged with fraud, our Harwood Heights fraud attorney can serve as your representative during the investigation and explain any terms and processes that will take place so you can keep up with the investigation and prepare accordingly.

Call Chicago Criminal Defense Attorneys at (312) 634-6529 for your Free Consultation with a Harwood Heights Fraud Attorney!

Penalties for Fraud Crimes in Harwood Heights

Penalties or punishments for fraud cases vary depending on the money that was lost. For example, property fraud that amounts to less than $300 is considered a Class A misdemeanor and can be punishable by up to one year in prison.

Fraud that involves more than $300 but less than $10,000 is a Class 3 felony that is punishable by 2 to 5 years in prison. If the amount is around $10,000 to $100,000, the offense is considered a Class 2 felony and punishable by 3 to 7 years in prison. If it is more than $100,000, it is a Class 1 felony and punishable by imprisonment from 4 to 15 years.

Anyone found guilty of fraud will also need to pay the insurance company of the complainant. Fines can vary depending on the case, but they can lead to fines up to $25,000.

Additional penalties may be incurred if the fraud charges are elevated to aggravated fraud. Aggravated fraud occurs when the victim of the fraud is either an elderly person, a person with a disability, or a government institution. If found guilty, the charges boost the Class of the felony committed and the prison term the accused will have to complete. For insurance fraud, it will become aggravated fraud if three or more frauds occur within 18 months.

Your assigned Harwood Heights fraud attorney from our legal law firm will negotiate for lower penalties if possible, as well as determine the penalties before the court proceedings.

Call Chicago Criminal Defense Attorneys at (312) 634-6529 for your Free Consultation with a Harwood Heights Fraud Attorney!

Defenses Against Fraud Accusation

Much like other crimes, fraud cases must be investigated and proven without reasonable doubt. Fraud is committed if the person clearly intends to deceive or misrepresent. If a person is found innocent of the charge, the case will not proceed further.

Here are some of the defenses we at Chicago Criminal Defense Attorneys can use for your fraud case:

  • Insufficient evidence

If the prosecution cannot show any concrete evidence that you have committed fraud, this is the defense that can be used.

  • Entrapment

If the government is involved in the case and they have coerced you, an innocent person, to commit a crime that you will never do in the first place, it is considered entrapment.

  • Absence of intent to commit a crime

If the intent to commit fraud were not proven, the charges would be withdrawn, and the defense is proven innocent.

  • Non-fraudulent statement

Contrary to popular belief, opinions are not immediately considered a fraudulent statements in court. False statements also do not qualify as fraudulent statements unless the defendant promised something or a specific fact is distorted. A judge will review your statement, and if they see it as non-fraudulent, the charges will be lifted.

  • Admission of guilt

Under this defense, the defendant will acknowledge that they may have committed a misrepresentation or fraud but do not acknowledge that there is an intent to deceive someone.

Get Your Free Consultation!

Harwood Heights Fraud Defense Attorney criminallawIf you are accused of committing fraud, you need to have a reliable legal team who can defend your rights and guide you through the case. Chicago Criminal Defense Attorneys’s experienced fraud attorneys will be on standby to educate you about your case, prepare your defense and fight for your rights to clear your name.

To learn more about our legal services, contact our Harwood Heights, IL criminal law firm today through our hotline, and we will immediately start working with you to sort the case.

Call Chicago Criminal Defense Attorneys at (312) 634-6529 for your Free Consultation with a Harwood Heights Fraud Attorney!