Financial Fraud, Crimes & Defenses Explained By NY Defense Attorney
Fraud is broadly defined to include false statements, misleading statements, or omissions of material facts. Many different kinds of fraud occur, but most fraud schemes are intended to enrich those who are involved in perpetrating the crime. The schemes may also be illegal, on the state level, on the federal level, or both.
At Bukh Law Firm, PLLC, our legal team has extensive experience providing legal representation in cases where clients have been accused of fraud. We understand that many business and financial transactions are complex transactions, and our goal is to do everything possible to help you avoid being convicted of fraud by making it impossible for a prosecutor to prove a case against you. Whether we get charges dismissed before trial, make strong arguments to a jury, or help you negotiate a favorable plea deal, we ensure our clients get strong legal representation so they can do everything possible to avoid or minimize consequences of a fraud conviction. To learn more, give us a call today.
What is Financial Fraud?
Financial fraud is distinct from consumer complaints about transactions gone awry. For fraud to have occurred, the behavior a defendant engaged in must have been illegal under a specific state or a federal law. Financial fraud can incorporate many different types of illegal behaviors, from power of attorney fraud to inheritance scams to lottery fraud. In every case, however, the definition of the crime must include intent to mislead. Prosecutors have the burden of proving a defendant’s actions fit the definition of financial fraud, while a NY criminal defense lawyer works hard to undermine and raise questions about evidence so no fraud can be proved.
Types of Financial Fraud
Because financial fraud can occur in almost any consumer or business transaction where misleading statements are made, there are dozens of different kinds of financial fraud crimes. Bukh Law Firm, PLLC can defend clients accused of committing a wide variety of financial fraud crimes including- but not limited to:
- Misappropriating income or assets: Perpetrators obtain and misuse assets or income belonging to someone else. This often occurs when caregivers of seniors take pension and Social Security payments from victims, withholding the funds or using them for personal purposes.
- Fake relative scams: A phone call is made, pretending to be the call-recipient’s relative who is in trouble. The caller asks for money to be transferred to provide help in an emergency situation. These calls often involve someone calling a senior citizen and pretending to be a grandchild.
- Identity theft: Personal identifying information is used without the individual’s permission to obtain credit, services, or other benefits.
- Fraud in connection with financial institutions: A victim is called pretending to be a financial institution that needs help fighting fraud in the call-recipient’s accounts or that needs help finding an employee committing a fraud crime. The purpose of these scams may be to obtain the victim’s Social Security number or financial information, or to obtain cash from the victim by claiming the money will be used as part of a trap to catch the criminal employee.
- Power of attorney fraud: A victim is convinced to give general or limited power of attorney to the person committing the fraud crime. The person who is given power of attorney may pose as an asset manager or otherwise have an official title, but ends up using the victim’s money and assets for personal gain.
- Charity scams: This scam involves obtaining donations for a fake charity, or using a fake charity to obtain identifying details of the victims.
Top Rated Criminal Lawyer
TOP RATED ON: SUPER LAWYERS, AVVO, NATIONAL TRIAL LAWYERS
- Advance fee fraud: Victims are persuaded to part with money in anticipation of later receiving even substantial cash or valuable assets. This financial fraud scam often takes the form of foreign lottery fraud, where victims must pay “taxes” on large winnings that never come. However, there are many variations of advance free fraud scams.
- 419 Fraud: These scams are a type of advance fee scams, in which mail, fax, email, or phone communication is used to convince someone to party with money now in exchange for receiving larger amounts of money or assets later.
- Pigeon drop scams . In these scams, a victim believes a large sum of money has been found in his presence. The victim puts up “good faith” money to share in the larger pot of found money.
- Foreign Lottery Scams: These scams involve victims being told they have won a lottery. In some cases, they are required to pay taxes to collect winnings- which don’t come. In other situations, the lottery “winners” are given fraudulent checks (which they deposit) but are required to return some of the money via wire. The victims wire the money back before discovering the lottery was a scam and the deposited check was invalid.
- Telemarketing scams: Victims are convinced to part with money or personal information through phone solicitation. Often, telemarking scams involve investment scams, and victims are convinced to give money to buy into worthless investments.
- Fake Prize Scam: Victims are enticed to provide checking account numbers, bank account information, or other personal identifying details in order to get a prize they have ostensibly won.
- Online auction fraud: Many forms of online auction fraud occur, from selling “rare and valuable” items that are actually worthless to sellers receiving fraudulent checks from borrowers and being told to cash and return a portion of the money.
- Government grant scams: Victims are told they will become eligible for government grants to obtain the victim’s personal identifying information.
- Phising: Various techniques are used to entice victims to provide Social Security numbers, account numbers, password and login information, or other information that can be used in identity theft crimes.
- Spoofing: A website is created that is designed to look like a legitimate site, and victims are directed to the site where they provide personal information, financial information, or log-in information.
- Pharming: A victim types in a valid URL but vulnerabilities in operating systems, domain name servers, or computer security allows scammers to redirect the browser to a spoofing site. The spoofing site appears legitimate and when a user inputs personal data, it is captured and used for identity theft crimes.
- Foreclosure scams: Victims are told that foreclosure can be stopped and their homes can be saved. There are different types of foreclosure scams, but in every case, the victim gives up money or even control over the home in order for false promises of help.
- Investment property scams : Victims are convinced to buy investment properties through management firms that handle loan documents. The victim may find the property is worth less than promised, that no loan payments have been made, and that funds used to buy property and pay rent were stolen.
- Gambling fraud: Victims are enticed to gamble in games that are rigged.
- Debt elimination scams : Victims are promised debt relief in exchange for the payment of fees, but no debt relief is actually provided.
- FDIC fraud: False or misleading statements are used to obtain money or assets from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
- Inheritance fraud : Different types of inheritance fraud occur, including a victim being convinced to leave money and assets to the fraud perpetrator rather than to family or to a cause the victim believes in.
These are just many different types of crimes that fall within the overall purview of financial fraud crimes. Defendants need to understand what the laws are, how the laws apply to them, and what can happen if they are accused of fraud.
Penalties for Financial Fraud
Penalties for financial fraud vary depending upon whether you are charged with a federal offense or a state one. Other factors that determine the consequences of a fraud conviction can include the amount of money taken, whether you owed a fiduciary obligation to the victim, and the methods used to commit the fraud crime. The crime you are accused of may carry a mandatory minimum prison sentence, so determining what your options are to fight charges is essential.
How a NY Fraud Lawyer Can Help You
At Bukh Law Firm, PLLC, our NY criminal defense lawyers understand that it can be a major challenge to deal with accusations of financial fraud, as your work and other relationships may suffer during the time period before your case is resolved. It is imperative that you are proactive, responsible, and strategic in responding to charges. This usually means contact a NY defense lawyer with experience to handle your case. Give us a call today to learn how we can help.