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If you’ve run your own business or done your taxes on your own, one of the things you are likely most worried about would be fraud. There are many things when it comes to businesses and paperwork that you have to manage all the time. Miscalculations in accounts or fraudulent actions can land you in jail on account of fraud. Fraud and white-collar crimes are highly prevalent in the world of business. If you’ve been accused of fraud, one of the first things you should do is contact a criminal defense lawyer.

Kentucky White Collar Crime Defense Attorney

White-collar crime, or the various accounts of fraudulent actions taken by businesses, are not uncommon nor are they victimless crimes. Fraud in the form of scams, laundering, and the various kinds of accountable frauds such as health insurance fraud or fraud against government, are all characterized by deceit, concealment, or violation. The various forms of fraud that exist are extremely common in business. While some popularize the belief that these crimes are victimless, they are, in reality, full of victims.

Often, the people behind these fraud schemes make their money by getting a great amount of money from innocent victims. People might not think at first glance there would be many hurt by fraud commonly involving corporations, but most of the time there are people hurt as a result of the actions involved in fraud. This makes being accused of such a crime difficult to face as there will be many people looking to seek their own justice and get compensation for the damage that was caused. This reason alone is one of the best to look into hiring a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

What Can a  White Collar Criminal Attorney Do For Me?

Criminal attorneys such as us can do a lot to lessen or get rid of charges that are claimed against someone. The court itself does absolutely no investigation—all information comes from the litigation, consisting primarily of lawyers and participating parties. A lawyer is then the one who commonly collects all relevant data to argue your case in the proper form. Without a lawyer, much of the information presented would have been reliant on the accused to come up with, which is near impossible against insurance agencies or businesses.

Criminal defense attorneys such as us are then the primary defense that can help you argue your case. I know how to collect information, present the information, and what information I need to share to give you the best odds at winning your case. People who are involved in fraud cases are usually at an increased risk of being sued or held accountable from multiple sources. I look into each case and relevant sources of blame, which need to be sorted through, to prevent harsher punishment or multiple accounts of fraud. Larger cases that involve government entities are even harder to resolve as it fits into federal court law and the person accountable would be against a large institution. I have experience in dealing with both state and federal level courts to help you in the event of a fraud case.

Types of Federal  Fraud Charges

There are many different types of fraud involving interpersonal fraud such as scams, fraud against entities such as insurance agencies, and government fraud such as voter violation fraud. Each of these categories can be further expanded upon to include the various types in each category. Fraud is characterized as anything that includes deceit, concealment, or violation of others to accomplish something. It doesn’t necessarily have to involve physical harm or threats.

Here are seven of the most common types of fraudulent cases.

  • Mail fraud
  • Driver’s license fraud
  • Healthcare fraud
  • Loan, debit, or credit fraud
  • Tax refund fraud
  • Digital fraud
  • Scams

None of these fraudulent cases require that physical harm or damage be caused to another person, but there are victims present in every case. Even insurance fraud has victims, as the other insurance members will likely have to pay for the fraudulent person’s actions. No matter what type of fraud has happened, there will be a victim hoping to seek reimbursement.

When investigating fraud, the FBI primarily looks at:

Falsification of financial information

  • Falsified account entries
  • Trades made to inflate profits or hide losses
  • Taking steps to avoid regulatory oversight

Insider trading

  • Bribery
  • Misuse of corporate property or knowledge
  • Self-dealing tax violations

Legitimately operated mutual hedge fund otherwise connected to fraud

  • Late trading
  • Certain market timing schemes
  • Falsification of net asset values

These three primary categories allow the FBI to track and find most elements of fraud. There are also state level and federal level fraud cases. It is most often the case that a fraud case will involve both the state and the federal government meaning defendants will likely face two separate charges in two separate courts in the event of a filed case.

One of the primary sources that they look for is intent of fraud. If you didn’t intend for fraud to happen, such as a miscalculation on your taxes, the court usually won’t hold you accountable for a mistake. It’s likely that the evidence they find, if intent was present, will be able to connect the accused directly, since financial information is easy to follow. This makes finding a representative who can uphold your case in court, as soon as possible, the key to preventing serious long-term loss in the event of a fraudulent claim.

Classifications of fraud exist on a broad spectrum, and the overall sentencing that follows is dependent on the type of fraud, people affected, and amount of money involved. Typically, sentencing includes a fine which could be paying the amount back, as well as jail time. Some types of frauds are even felonies that could stick with you forever, even if you pay back the fines or serve jail time.

How to Fight Against Fraud Charges

There are a few ways to fight against fraud whether you are innocent or not. The best way to start is to be as transparent as possible with your lawyer. A criminal defense attorney’s job is to limit the amount of punishment that could befall you, meaning any information that could be used against you or for you in the event of a case, would be vital to their defense. Along with contacting legal counsel, you should also compile all the relevant accounting information and show it to your lawyer as well. Any information that could help them with their arguments will go a long way in the litigation process and could be the difference between a settlement outside of court, and a serious fine with jail time behind it.

A few tips on how to fight against a fraud case:

  • Talk with your lawyer and be transparent
  • Don’t talk to anyone without your lawyer present
  • Don’t confess to something prematurely
  • Act in a civil manor

Fraud charges are often some of the hardest to fight against, which makes the steps you take when accused, paramount to the sentencing that you will face. Law enforcement and other legal entities that are trying to prove your guilt will attempt to pressure you for a confession. Hence, prudence and ensuring that your lawyer is the one you are in primary contact with, will prevent any mistakes or accidents that could prolong your sentencing or increase the claims against you.

Sentencing for White Collar Fraud Claims

As mentioned, the type of fraud and its scale will be the deciding factor in your sentencing. Here is a short list of some of the most common fraud charges and their common punishments:

  • Money laundering: Those involved in a money laundering scheme may be ordered to pay up to $500,000 or at least twice the amount of money laundered. Prison sentences are based on the underlying felony charges in relation to the accompanied charges. [18 U.S.C Section 1956]
  • Tax evasion: Maximum of $100,000 fine for any individual and $500,000 if the accused is a corporation. Up to five years in a federal prison.
  • Bank fraud: Up to a $1,000,000 fine and a maximum prison sentence of 30 years.
  • Mail and wire fraud: Maximum prison sentence of up to 20 years with a potential fine of up to $100,000 if the scheme involved a bank. [18 U.S.C. Section 1343]
  • Securities fraud: A fine based on the amount of money fraudulently obtained and/or a maximum of up to 25 years in prison. [18 U.S.C. Section 1348]
  • Healthcare fraud: Compensation paid in the form of a fine back to the healthcare company, based on the amount fraudulently received or claimed, and prison sentence from a few years to life.
  • Bankruptcy fraud: Maximum of five years in prison with a forfeiture of assets and previous claims of bankruptcy are dismissed, with no re-file available.

Not only are these by far the most common fraud charges, they are also some of the most common cases in general.

If you have been charged with fraud and need a criminal defense attorney to defend you in court, I am here to help you. I work in all types of criminal defense in the Lexington, Kentucky area and am familiar with the litigation process of both state and federal court to ensure that I can argue your case no matter the charges. Contact us for a consultation about your case today. Waiting could be the difference in time spent in jail, or devastating fines.

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Criminal charges are a direct threat to your personal freedom and future opportunities. There is much at stake, but you have the right to confront these charges with a strong defense. I am proud to offer free initial case evaluations, and you can schedule yours by reaching out to my law office or calling 615-200-9559 or toll free at 800-785-9546.
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ATTORNEY PATRICK MCNALLY
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