There are many crimes which are generally considered “fraud.” Fraud crimes are essentially a form of theft, using misrepresentation and other deceptive tactics. Generally speaking, you violate California’s criminal fraud laws anytime you 1) commit an act that results in an unfair or undeserved benefit for yourself; and/or 2) causes harm or loss to another person.
There are countless crimes which are considered fraud under California law. Some examples are identity theft, fraudulently selling the same real estate to multiple buyers, mortgage fraud, fraudulent insurance claims (i.e. feigned or staged car accidents ), fraudulent disability or unemployment claims, welfare fraud, securities fraud and white collar crime.
Many fraud crimes can subject you to high fines, significant jail or prison sentences and other serious consequences.
Fortunately, there are a variety of legal defenses to fraud crimes that a skilled California criminal defense attorney can present on your behalf. Some of the most common include:
- you didn’t have fraudulent intent (if you don’t intend to commit a fraud, you are not guilty of committing a fraud),
- you were the victim of mistaken identity, and/or
- you deserve an acquittal based on the legal defense of entrapment.
If you are charged with or believe you are suspected of a fraud-related offense, do not talk to anyone about your case. Contact experienced criminal defense counsel Robbi A. Cook at (510)208-5051.