Gillette Fraud Defense Attorney
Have you been accused of committing fraud or another financial crime in Campbell County? There are many different types of fraud, all of which carry heavy civil and criminal penalties. Although these offenses may seem minor, state and federal courts will impose harsh consequences if you are convicted. In addition, your personal and professional reputation could be ruined by the charges.
It is important for anyone charged with fraud in Campbell County to speak to a criminal defense attorney who can help. The trial lawyers at Steven Titus & Associates, P.C., understand how to construct a defense to get you back your freedom, and will go to work the minute you call.
Fraud is defined as a wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain.
Under this definition, there are many types of fraud. Some of these include:
- Bank fraud
- Bankruptcy fraud
- Credit card fraud
- Counterfeiting or forgery
- Extortion and bribery
- Healthcare fraud
- Identity theft
- Insurance fraud
- Intellectual property theft
- Money laundering
- Ponzi schemes
- Pyramid schemes
- Securities and investment fraud
- Tax evasion
Some types of fraud, such as embezzlement and money laundering, are considered white-collar crimes. These crimes are typically committed by business owners or government officials. White-collar crimes are generally non-violent in nature, but a conviction can devastate a person’s career and reputation.
Fraud can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony by the prosecution, depending on the dollar value of the crime, its impact, and if the accused has a prior criminal history.
In Wyoming, misdemeanors are punishable by up to one year in county jail, and there is often a fine attached to the sentence. Felony fraud can be punished by incarceration in state prison for a wide range of years, depending on the exact fraud charge. Large fines are typically imposed alongside prison time. For example, identity theft of over $500 is charged as a felony in Wyoming, and the person faces imprisonment up to 10 years, or a fine up to $10,000, or both (Wyo. Stat. Ann. §6-3-901; § 1-1-128). In addition, the person may be ordered to pay restitution to the victims of the crime. Also, the victims are allowed to file a civil lawsuit against the accused for even more money.
For businesspeople accused of fraud, the most damaging penalty may be the criminal record that will follow them for the rest of their lives. However, there are defenses to a charge of fraud.
- Absence of intent to commit a crime is one such defense. The prosecution must prove criminal intent in fraud cases. If the prosecution’s entire case hinges on an email written by the defendant that they loosely construe as an intent to embezzle, a good defense lawyer can get the case thrown out of court.
- Good faith belief, or money taken for legitimate purposes, can also be used as a defense to fraud. For example, someone may be charged with tax evasion if he does not include all sources of his income on a tax return. If it can be shown that he was acting genuinely and honestly, and did not intend to leave out the income, this could be a defense to fraud.
- Duress can also be used as a defense. In this case, another individual would have had to use threats or violence to force the defendant to act against his better judgment. Common pressures such as needing to pay bills cannot be used as a duress defense for fraud. It must be that another person was forcing the defendant to commit the crime.
Whether you are a business owner being accused of involvement in a scam or an individual who was accused of fraud, we can help. We recognize that you have a lot on the line, from your personal reputation to your freedom. If you are believed to be involved in a large-scale operation, you could be facing even more severe consequences.
Our Gillette criminal defense attorney at Steven Titus & Associates, P.C., is extremely knowledgeable and resourceful. Our team is dedicated to going the extra mile to investigate the details of your case to learn exactly what the prosecution may have against you. Our extensive skill and experience works to your advantage, as we aim to achieve a dismissal, reduction of charges, or other positive outcome in your case. Call (307) 257-7800 to get started.
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