If the state charges or investigates you for alleged criminal activity, it can cause severe damage to your reputation. This could adversely affect current and prospective business relations and employment opportunities. One common criminal charge that could bring about these consequences is fraud. In 2019, Texas ranked fourth in most complaints of identity fraud. Aside from identity fraud, there are continuous cases of other fraud reported in the state.
Fraud offenses to familiarize
Fraud is complex and covers a range of offenses. Some of these offenses may be tagged as misdemeanors while others are considered a felony. Here are types of fraud you may encounter:
- Identity fraud is when someone uses another person’s identity to deceive or commit a crime.
- Mortgage fraud is when someone lies or omits information to get loan approval or favorable terms.
- Healthcare fraud is when a company or an individual defrauds an insurer or government healthcare program to gain profit.
- Bank fraud is obtaining money, assets, or other property held or owned by a bank through unlawful means.
- Credit card fraud is when one unlawfully uses another person’s credit card information to make purchases or other transactions.
- Wire fraud is when one uses a physical or electronic mail system to defraud another.
- Securities fraud is when one encourages investors to buy and sell in the stock market under false information.
- Insurance fraud is when one tries to receive an unentitled insurance benefit or when an insurer knowingly refuses a benefit that is due.
And the list goes on.
Possible defense strategies
The strategy for each case would depend on the facts. However, some possible defense strategies may be initially considered, such as:
- Determine whether the informant legally obtained the evidence
- Question the motives of informants
- Ensure the evidence proves the elements needed to secure a fraud conviction
- Preparation to avoid self-incrimination
If you are an accused or person under investigation for alleged fraud, you must be aware of and protect your rights.