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In Texas, fraud can be both a case filed in civil court as well as a criminal charge. Two people can be in a lawsuit where the plaintiff sues for damages from the defendant based on allegations of fraud; that is the civil action. There may or may not be criminal conduct involved in a civil fraud case.
However, in criminal fraud cases, the government is seeking to punish someone with incarceration and monetary fines based on one of several kinds of criminal fraud charges. Fraud is a crime under both state and federal law.
Criminal fraud involves some sort of intentional deception for profit and there are many different ways in which this happens – and creative, new scenarios for criminal fraud appear all the time. Here are some of variations of criminal fraud that are recognized by either federal law or Texas statute:
- Identity Fraud (Identity Theft)
- Money Laundering
- Wire Fraud
- Mail Fraud
- Mortgage Fraud
- Health Care Fraud
- Credit Card Fraud
Other types of criminal fraud include:
Securities Fraud – these are situations of deception for profit in the marketing or sale of stocks, bonds, investments, or other financial instruments. Often charges are investigated and pursued by the Securities and Exchange Commission as violations of federal securities laws.
IRS Refund Fraud – here, phony tax returns are filed with the Internal Revenue Service in order to obtain the refund payment, usually in the form of a debit card. The Internal Revenue Service usually investigates and pursues these kinds of fraud.
Nigerian Letter or “419” Fraud – here, a letter is received with a Nigerian postmark asking for assistance in claiming money (for example, a large inheritance) but the recipient will need to provide personal bank account and identity information first. This information is used to access accounts and take funds; there is no inheritance, etc. and there is no legitimate need for assistance.
Tax Fraud – Here, two sets of financial records are kept for a company, or assets are not reported and hidden or transferred in an attempt to avoid federal taxation. Tax evasion is a federal crime that is investigated and pursued by the United States Department of Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service.
Defending Against Fraud Charges in Federal or State Court
Criminal fraud charges can involve a large amount of money at issue as well as a complicated set of transactions. There may be a single complainant or allegations that hundreds of fraud victims form the basis of the charges brought against someone. Usually, these are serious felony charges with the possibility of a very long incarceration (decades) sentence.
Whatever the kind of fraud that is involved in a fraud charge, it is important to have an experienced and knowledgeable fraud criminal defense lawyer at work as soon as possible to assess the strength of the case and work hard not only to find weaknesses in the prosecution’s case but to build independent defenses to the fraud allegations. This can take time and many warrant the use of sophisticated third party experts in the fields of banking, securities, insurance, computer software, internet hacking, etc.
Texas Fraud Defense Lawyer
As a former prosecutor turned criminal defense lawyer with over 150 jury trials defending clients against charges brought by district attorneys and U.S. federal prosecutors in Dallas County, Tarrant County, and elsewhere in the State of Texas, Board Certified Criminal Lawyer Michael Lowe not only brings his years of experience to each case, he also dedicates 100% of his law practice to the defense of those being accused of a crime under Texas or federal law.
With a streamlined law firm that coordinates its efforts to give each client the personal attention that they need and deserve when fighting against the government and the possibility of jail time, fines, permanent marks on public records, prison incarceration, loss of licensure, loss of jobs, absence from family events and everyday living, Michael Lowe maintains an efficient and excellent criminal trial practice that is ready to help you or your loved ones in your defense against criminal charges from pre-arrest investigation to post-trial appeals.
To discuss your case in a free and completely confidential consultation, please contact Dallas Board Certified Criminal Lawyer Michael Lowe today.