Fraud is the legal term for lying in an attempt to gain something. Unlike theft, where you directly take something that’s not yours, fraud involves a level of trickery and deception. Fraud charges are divided up into different categories, like credit card fraud or real estate fraud.
Fraud may not be a violent crime, but the penalties can be just as severe as one. If you’re facing fraud charges, you need to know what you might be facing and get the help of a fraud charges lawyer in Richmond for advice. Contact the skilled lawyers at the Pendleton Law Group today for a free consultation.
Fraud Penalties in Virginia
Fraud can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony in Virginia, depending on the act and the amount of financial gain you obtained from the deception. Some forms of fraud, like identity theft, do not require you to gain anything. Merely using someone else’s identity is enough to get charged.
In addition to fines and possible imprisonment, fraud convictions also require you to pay restitution to the victim. Restitution is meant to help the victims recover from the crime. For instance, if you embezzle $20,000 from your workplace, you’d have to pay that back.
The victims can also seek further compensation in civil court, and a fraud conviction will help their case greatly. You could end up paying back far more than the alleged fraud when all is said and done. Your best option is to work with a skilled criminal defense lawyer.
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Social and Professional Penalties for a Fraud Conviction
People in positions of power gain greater access to resources that, if used wrongly, could help them commit fraud. Ethics boards in professional organizations have their own punishments that could prevent a convicted fraudster from working in that field.
For instance, a doctor could use incorrect billing codes to an insurer to fraudulently get more cash from them for procedures they didn’t perform. If the medical licensing board learns about their healthcare and wire fraud, they could receive censure or have their license to practice revoked.
Furthermore, if the clients of the fraudster learn about the deception, they could take their business elsewhere. In short, a fraud conviction could leave you starting from square one in your field, or even force you to start a new career from scratch.
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Different Kinds of Fraud
Detailing every kind of fraud in the books would make this an extremely long article. Instead, here is a sample of the common types we’ve seen:
- Writing bad checks
- Embezzlement (stealing assets entrusted to you)
- Fraud (the general term for these kinds of crimes)
- Identity theft
- Money laundering (hiding where you obtained money)
- Credit card fraud
- Extortion and blackmail
- Making false statements
If you’re curious about others, you can see the chapter on fraud in the Code of Virginia. There are literally dozens of different kinds of charges! An experienced fraud charges attorney in Richmond will know where to find your specific charge and how to defend against it.
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Virginia Prison Is No Joke
There is a perception in society that when people are convicted of white collar crimes, like fraud, they spend their jail or prison time in a different sort of facility – one that is much less harsh than the usual kind.
This is an incorrect statement. Yes, there are minimum-security prisons, but white collar criminals do not get a choice on where to go. It is up to the correctional system to decide where each prisoner goes. Plus, even a minimum-security prison in Virginia has strict limits on behavior.
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Seek Help Against Fraud Charges in Richmond
The moment to call a fraud charges lawyer in Richmond is as soon as you know there is an investigation against you. Fraud cases can take a long time to build and you need that time to build a defense with the help of a lawyer.
The Pendleton Law Group is ready to help you defend yourself against fraud charges. Simply contact us at the number on your screen, or use our contact form to reach out to us. We look forward to representing your interests.
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