If a person is charged with a financial crime, he or she can face serious penalties. Financial crimes often involve fraud, where a person intentionally deceives another person or business for financial gain.
Financial fraud examples
There are several types of financial fraud including mortgage fraud, credit and debit fraud and tax fraud.
When a person makes a mortgage application and includes false information, he or she may receive more loan money than would have otherwise been approved. Penalties for mortgage fraud include fines, restitution and prison time.
Credit and debit card fraud involves using a card that belongs to someone else, often to purchase items or to take a cash advance from the card.
Finally, tax fraud may include filing tax returns with false information or filing them using someone else’s identity. These are only some examples of financial fraud a person can be charged with.
Elements and possible defenses
Generally, to prove fraud there must have been a purposeful misrepresentation of a material fact with knowledge that it is false to a victim who relies on the misrepresentation and he or she suffers an actual loss.
There are a few defenses the accused person may want to consider. The primary defense is a lack of intent. Intent is a key element of fraud and without it, it may be difficult to prove that a crime occurred.
Also, if the alleged fraud occurred because of a misunderstanding or if there is not enough evidence to demonstrate that the fraud happened, those may also be defenses.
An experienced criminal defense attorney can review the charges and provide guidance about next steps.