Sentencing Recommendations Criticized by Department of Justice
The United States Sentencing Commission was recently critiqued by the Department of Justice (DOJ) following a proposal introduced by a federal panel of judges that would reduce prison time for offenders of white-collar crimes. Specifically, the newly introduced policy would reduce fraud-related sentences by as much as 26 percent, according to news reports. If you or someone you know has been accused of fraud, or any other white-collar crime, reach out to an experienced fraud crime defense attorney right away.
Types of Fraud
Both state and federal laws prohibit fraud, and penalties can vary based on the type of fraud and the amount in question. Some common types of fraud include, but are not limited to:
- Bankruptcy fraud – generally this occurs by either 1) concealing assets to avoid forfeiture; 2) intentionally filing incomplete or false forms; 3) filing multiple times through false information or real information in varying states; or 4) a court-appointed trustee is successfully bribed.
- Identity theft – this occurs when someone’s private identifying information (such as Social Security number, date of birth, address, etc.) is obtained and used for financial gain of another.
- Ponzi/pyramid schemes – these are investment structures in which investors are promised high profits on their investments, however, early investors are paid with money received by later investors and no investments are actually made.
- Healthcare/health insurance fraud – this may take various forms, including providing “free” products to consumers and charging insurance companies for unnecessary items; fake or unnecessary examinations given to non-patients and billed to Medicare or Medicaid; bills submitted for services that were never performed; and double-billing for the same service.
Possible Defenses to Fraud
While an accusation of fraud is a serious offense, there may be some defenses available for someone who is facing charges, including:
- Insufficient evidence – the prosecution bears the burden of proving the elements of fraud, however, if evidence is lacking to prove this a defense may be viable.
- Lack of intent – the act of fraud requires the intent to deceive and, therefore, intent must be proven to establish the charge.
- Entrapment – this occurs when the government compels an otherwise innocent person to commit a crime that would not have been committed.
Fraud Crime Defense Attorney
If you or someone you know has been charged with a fraud crime, or any other criminal offense, contact an experienced and aggressive fraud defense attorney today. The government has a legal team that will work hard to prosecute your case; you should have a skilled, aggressive attorney on your side that will fight to defend your rights. Florida criminal defense attorney Carl H. Lida has decades of experience, both state and federal, in criminal cases from the trial through the appellate levels. His legal team will work hard to put the best defense forward. Call (954) 472-5001 today to learn about your rights and schedule an initial consultation.