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Credit Card Fraud
Fraud schemes run the gauntlet from relatively simple affairs, like credit card fraud, to multibillion-dollar Ponzi schemes. Even though they are simple, a state law conviction could mean years in prison. Additionally, the elements of fraud are relatively easy to prove in court.
The professional team at Gerald Miller, P.A. stands firm against this wave of government action. Since there are so many kinds of fraud cases, we tailor your defense.
Mortgage Fraud Defense
This crime could involve the lender or the borrower. Lender or broker mortgage fraud is usually a federal crime. Some unscrupulous lenders falsify documents, so a shaky loan makes it past underwriting. Some unscrupulous brokers do the same thing in order to obtain commissions.
Because it is often localized to a single document, borrower mortgage fraud is usually a state crime. Examples include inflating income, lying about residency status, and omitting certain debt payments.
Take it from a seasoned Minneapolis Fraud Lawyer, Most fraud schemes, especially most mortgage fraud schemes, involve a whistleblower or paid informant. The information these individuals provide is always questionable, particularly since the standard of proof is so high in criminal cases. Many people will say almost anything for love or money.
Credit Card Fraud Defense
This offense sometimes also involves other crimes, such as identity theft or forgery. More frequently, however, credit card fraud is unauthorized use of a card. Frequently, the card itself is not involved in credit card fraud. Many computers and other devices automatically remember most credit card information. A fraudster must simply fill in a few blanks, like a CVV number or a billing ZIP code.
If the amount in controversy is less than $250, credit card fraud is a misdemeanor. Otherwise, it is a felony.
Minnesota Statute § 609.821 is not limited to fraudulent use. It is also illegal to possess, attempt to use, or sell, a fraudulently obtained card. The statute also applies to public benefits, like SNAP cards, as well as credit card application fraud.
Insurance Fraud Defense
Motor vehicle insurance fraud is rather common, especially in no-fault insurance states like Minnesota. “Fender-bender” accidents are usually not subject to judicial scrutiny. That lack of oversight gives rise to misconduct like the swoop-and-squat fraud.
An unscrupulous driver pulls out in front of another motorist then applies the vehicle’s brakes to induce a rear-end collision. Insurance adjusters immediately report such incidents to authorities. So, there is essentially a presumption of guilt as opposed to a presumption of innocence. We know this because our Minneapolis Fraud Lawyers have dealt with many such cases.
Property insurance fraud usually involves staging a false “accident” at a home or business. The Hennepin County prosecutor’s office has a dedicated insurance fraud section. So, the conviction rate in these cases is rather high.
Ponzi Scheme Defense
High level Ponzi schemes are federal matters. Lower level Ponzi schemes, which are much more common, are state matters. A “broker” takes money from new investors and uses it to pay “dividends” to existing investors.
The penalties for such schemes are rather high because investors depend entirely on brokers. So, a Ponzi scheme not only costs investors money. It represents a serious breach of trust. Unlike in a forgery case, where you would hire a Forgery Charges Defense Lawyers in Minneapolis, you will need to hire a Minneapolis Fraud Lawyer to defend charges related to fraud.
Frequently Asked Questions
If the purchase or cash advance amount was less than $250, credit card fraud is a misdemeanor. Otherwise, it is a felony. Non-transaction fraud, such as submitting a fraudulent application for SNAP benefits, is usually a felony as well.
Filing a false or inflated insurance claim is almost always a felony. Lying on an application, report, or other insurance document is usually a felony as well. “Lying” includes omitting necessary information.
Yes, you can go to jail for fraud. In fact, the maximum sentence is twenty years in prison and a $100,000 fine. This offense also has substantial indirect consequences. Fraud is a crime of moral turpitude. Furthermore, many potential employers never hire people with fraud convictions.
Large scale fraud is usually a federal crime, because the activity crosses state lines. Local fraud is usually a state crime, because the activity might not go beyond the borders of Hennepin County.
Both. The burden of proof is the main difference. In civil court, the burden of proof is a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not). In criminal court, the burden of proof is beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a higher standard. So, it’s not unusual for alleged fraudsters to face both civil and criminal charges.
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