Fraud is when a person engages in some scheme or pattern with the intent to defraud or obtain property by means of falsehood. A DC fraud lawyer is essential for defending these charges.
Fraud cases almost always involve many documents, bank records, and other evidence establishing the pattern of payments, applications, or other attempts to secure funding without proper repayment.
Someone charged with fraud should hire a DC fraud attorney who is experienced specifically with fraud cases because of the unique evidence that the government gathers and will try to use against the person charged. En Español.
Common Forms of Fraud
There are many different kinds of fraud. Some common ones in the District of Columbia are employment fraud, housing fraud, and childcare subsidy fraud. These are situations where someone puts together an application or renewal for government benefits or subsidies, and in the process makes false representations about where they live, their income, their assets, and/or their debts.
There is also fraud related to people using information about other people’s accounts in an attempt to get their own funds. That happens often in employment situations where someone with access to a company’s financial information sets up a false account or writes false checks to themselves.
Penalties for DC Fraud Convictions
When there is a fraud case that involves an actual loss amount, the person charged must pay back everything that was taken, all loss amounts. They can then expect the distinct possibility of time in incarceration, whether that is in jail as part of probation or in prison. The penalties depend on the specific facts of a case with regards to how long the fraud continued, how much money was taken, and what that money was used for. A DC fraud attorney is an individual’s best chance at building a strong defense.
An individual can expect a more severe punishment if they engage in a fraudulent scheme where they get benefits from some government program meant to aid the poor and they make false and fraudulent claims against that government agency or entity over an extended period of time.
If this fraud has continued for a couple of years where the amount of loss to the government agency or entity is in the six figures. The government can show through bank records and other documents that the individual used that money for vacations as well as expensive gifts for themselves and others. This situation is treated very harshly compared to a situation where someone engages in fraud one time because of a personal emergency and they wrongfully took $5,000 from their employer.
Both of those situations are equally unlawful; however, the circumstances and specific facts about them differ greatly. In the former case, an individual might be looking at a term in prison. However, in the latter case, the penalties are more reasonable depending upon criminal history and other factors. All things considered equal, it is reasonable to expect an order to repay the amount taken and placement on probation so the courts can oversee and make sure that the individual does not violate the law again.
No matter what situation a person may be facing, a fraud attorney in DC can help.
When someone is charged with fraud, they can almost always get a plea deal because the government has the expectation that the repayment of money is the ultimate goal. Because fraud is not a violent crime, it is usually not a situation where the government wants to get the maximum possible punishment such as incarceration.
In a fraud case, most often, the government is just interested in making sure that the victim is repaid in full if at all possible, and working out an appropriate punishment under the circumstances. Almost always, a person can expect the government to offer some resolution through a plea agreement that is short of a maximum penalty if the person charged agrees to make the victim whole by repaying all the amounts that were taken.
Contact a Lawyer
Anyone charged with a crime needs to contact a criminal defense attorney. That is paramount to make sure that their rights are being protected, to make sure that they are doing the right things, and are not doing the wrong things in any interactions they may have with law enforcement with regards to preparing a defense.
An individual should have an experienced Washington DC fraud attorney to make sure that everything is being done properly and that the best possible defense is being built. That includes experienced negotiations to minimize the damage to the person charged and proceed with the matter as easily or as beneficially as possible.