Fraud crimes can be prosecuted as a state and/or as a federal offense and may result in both a felony conviction and a lengthy term in prison. If the fraud involves government institutions, such as in the case of tax fraud, immigration fraud, Medicaid or Medicare fraud, federal charges become involved, which increases the possibility of longer prison time and larger fines. Prosecutors have become extremely zealous about pursuing financial crimes, often by charging each transaction as a separate criminal offense.
Potential penalties for fraud are based on the dollar value of the property or financial loss. The higher the loss amount, the longer the possible jail time and the higher the possible fines. Since some fraud crimes are subject to mandatory minimum sentencing — a set amount of time that must be served in federal prison for committing a federal crime — it’s essential to get the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney who knows how to defend against these charges.
The skilled and experienced Illinois criminal law attorneys at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd., understand the seriousness of your situation and offer aggressive representation for clients facing fraud criminal charges. We know the courts and the criminal justice system, and how to plea bargain, negotiate guidelines and recognize when to take your case to trial. We offer a free consultation to examine the facts of your individual situation and find the best way to defend your rights and liberty.
There are many methods used to criminally defraud individuals, but they all involve intentionally deceiving others for personal gain. Often the fraud involves use of the Internet, phone or mail, or industries like insurance, securities, banking, medical insurance, or credit card companies. The following are some of the most common types of fraud crimes:
Penalties for fraud vary, depending on factors which include the specific conduct, state or federal offense and the extent of the damages suffered by the victim.
For example, Illinois penalties for identity theft are:
|Dollar Amount||Offense||Jail Term||Fine|
|$300 or below||Class A Misdemeanor||Up to a year in jail||$25,000|
|$301 to $10,000||Class 3 Felony||Up to 5 years in state prison||$25,000|
|$10,001 to $100,000||Class 2 Felony||Up to 7 years in state prison||$25,000|
|$100,001 and higher||Class 1 Felony||Up to 15 years in state prison||$25,000|
While the penalties for conviction for fraud are severe, keep in mind that the prosecutor has to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. An experienced fraud defense attorney can often find ways to have computer data or financial documents excluded, on grounds such as obtaining information through an unlawful search or in violation of the Miranda Act, or based on procedural or substantive grounds such as duress, entrapment, or ignorance.
Because of the mandatory minimum sentences, it is essential that people accused of fraud act quickly when preparing their defense. It may be possible to get sentencing departures if an offender cooperates with an investigation. An experienced attorney can explain how this works and help determine what would be the best option.
When you are accused of fraud, you need to hire the best criminal defense attorney that you can find. The Illinois criminal defense lawyers at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd. are skilled trial lawyers who believe each case is unique, with its own set of circumstances. We examine the facts, the individuals involved, and the evidence available, and work hand in hand with our clients throughout the criminal process to come up with an effective defense strategy. Our goal is always to minimize the negative impact of the situation and to focus on protecting your freedoms, liberties and rights.
We are aggressive litigators and will work with you to answer all your questions and make sure you fully understand the facts surrounding your case and what you can do to mitigate penalties. We represent clients in DuPage County, Cook County, Will County, Naperville, Aurora, Wheaton, Woodridge, Downers Grove and Bolingbrook, and the greater Chicagoland area.
Delaying can only make your situation worse, so call 630-305-0222 today to schedule your free initial consultation and begin preparing a response to any accusations of fraud.