The crime of fraud is committed when an individual provides a false representation of facts with the intention of gaining some form of advantage in their favor. This can be done through:
- Conduct or actions
- False allegations
- Omission of key information
When an individual commits fraud, they are doing so with the intent to deceive and ultimately cause harm to another individual or for financial gain. Fraud is considered a white-collar crime, as it does not involve violence, but it carries harsh penalties. A Las Vegas fraud attorney with De Castroverde Criminal & Immigration Lawyers can advocate for your rights and fight to have your charges reduced or dismissed.
Our Criminal Defense Attorneys Handle Many Types of Fraud Cases
There are multiple types of fraud crimes. Our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys handle fraud cases involving:
- Organized retail theft: This type of fraud involves committing a series of thefts of products or services from a retail merchant, whether online or in person, per NRS 205.08345. These crimes also include returning stolen merchandise to receive their cash value and reselling stolen goods online.
- Credit card fraud: This type of fraud involves paying for goods or services using someone else’s credit card information, whether online or in person.
- Identity theft: Identity theft, as defined by NRS 205.463, involves any actions to use or possess someone else’s personal identification information, such as a personal ID card, Social Security number, or credit card. Identity theft can range from buying goods or services without a person’s permission to actively causing them harm by racking up debt or purchasing high-value goods (e.g., a house).
- Mail fraud: Mail fraud is a federal offense, per 18 U.S. Code § 1341. This type of fraud involves scheming to fraudulently collect money by using false information, such as collecting someone’s tax return or paycheck stubs sent through the mail. Mail fraud also involves selling or disposing of someone else’s property through the mail or making false promises in their name.
- Insurance fraud: Insurance fraud involves providing false information to an insurance company in an effort to collect money via the policy. For example, a retail owner might set their store on fire to collect insurance money for the costs of property damage and lost merchant goods. Insurance fraud also includes Medicare or Medicaid fraud, which involves filing false claims in an effort to receive additional benefits.
- Mortgage fraud: The State of Nevada’s Attorney General organized the Mortgage Fraud Unit to combat fraudulent companies that prey upon homeowners struggling to keep up with their mortgages. These companies offer “programs” that promise to lower mortgage loans and prevent foreclosures, among other homeowning concerns, for a fee.
- Embezzlement: Embezzlement involves stealing entrusted funds from another party, typically a person’s employer. This misappropriation of funds can range from depositing leftover funds into a private account of the bailee (the embezzler) to stealing goods, property, and money under false pretenses.
- Tax fraud: Tax fraud can involve lying on your tax forms to reduce the amount of taxes you owe to the government as well as claiming factors (e.g., dependents) to increase how much of a tax return you might receive. Tax evasion is also a federal crime and can lead to harsh penalties for both individuals and businesses.
- Forgery: Writing bad checks is a form of forgery. Any action that involves signing legal or financial documents using someone else’s name or information is a form of forgery.
- Bribery: Bribery involves offering a form of compensation (e.g., money, jewelry, or valuable information) to encourage or discourage another party from fulfilling an action. For example, offering $100,000 to a clerk to rig an election by falsifying voter count reports is a form of bribery.
Each fraud crime carries varying levels of penalties, depending on the circumstances of the crime and the value of the financial loss.
Services We Provide to Our Clients
To protect your rights and preserve your freedom, we urge you to consult with a Las Vegas criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Our firm works in close collaboration with every client. Our goal is to craft a defense strategy that could win at trial.
Should you decide to work with a fraud defense attorney in Las Vegas from our team, we offer the following legal services for your case:
- Immediate legal representation: In criminal cases, any word can be used against you. From the moment you call, we can send a lawyer to protect you during police interrogation, advocate for your rights during preliminary or pretrial hearings, and petition for lower bail to release you from jail.
- Private investigation: Our team will separately investigate your case to gather evidence that establishes your innocence or discredits allegations made by the prosecution. We may also interview expert witnesses to determine if their analysis can provide insight for your defense (e.g., whether documents were forged).
- Negotiation services: During your case, there may be opportunities to negotiate a plea deal with the prosecutor to reduce or eliminate your charges. Your Nevada criminal defense lawyer will negotiate when possible but also prepare your case for trial in case a settlement deal cannot be reached.
- Legal counsel: As mentioned above, any statement you make can be used against you. Our lawyers train clients on what to say (and not say) to avoid any legal setbacks during the litigation process. If you have concerns about your case or want advice on a legal decision, our team is also available to provide guidance.
Fraud Convictions Can Lead to Harsh Penalties in Nevada
Penalties for fraud-related crimes are based on the financial value of stolen goods, services, or property. NRS 205.0835 defines the severity of fraud crimes as:
- Theft value less than $1,200 is considered a misdemeanor.
- Theft value greater than $1,200 but lower than $5,000 is considered a category D felony.
- Theft value greater than $5,000 but lower than $25,000 is considered a category C felony.
- Theft value greater than $25,000 but lower than $100,000 is considered a category B felony.
- Theft value greater than $100,000 is considered a category B felony but with harsher penalties.
Penalties for fraud crimes can involve paying fines (up to $15,000), jail time (up to 20 years), and other lesser punishments (e.g., community service, lowered credit score, and loss of licensure).
Call Now to Start Working with a Las Vegas Fraud Attorney From Our Team
A fraud crime often involves digital files, emails, and other types of information that should be reviewed by our legal team as soon as possible, especially if any other individuals have had access to your computer. Without a Las Vegas fraud crime lawyer who can challenge all types of evidence professionally, you could face conviction and all the penalties that could be imposed for this crime, including prison time, restitution, and fines.
At De Castroverde Criminal & Immigration Lawyers, our Las Vegas fraud attorneys have 40 years of combined experience in defending the rights of clients accused of fraud and other theft crimes. The earlier our firm gets involved, the better it could be for you. Contact us immediately if you have been accused of any fraud crime. We work efficiently and are prepared to help you fight for your freedom.