Fulton County Fraud Lawyer
From credit card fraud and deposit account fraud to identity theft and embezzlement, fraud offenses typically are pursued to attempt to obtain a substantial financial gain for those involved. Since criminal fraud convictions usually carry the potential for severe penalties, getting the advice of a Fulton County fraud lawyer at Hawkins Spizman when facing these charges is wise.
Fraud prosecutions often are complex, in that they are highly dependent on documentary evidence such as bank records, applications, and other financial documents. Going through hundreds or thousands of documents and evaluating them as evidence can be an overwhelming process best handled by an experienced attorney. Legal counsel has the skills needed to assess your situation and present you with all viable options for resolving the charges that you are facing.
Fraud Offenses Under Georgia Law
While Georgia statutes outlaw various criminal fraud offenses, they all have some characteristics in common. Typically, fraud offenses involve:
- Some measure of intentional dishonesty or deception,
- Designed to result in financial benefits for the actors, and
- Cause third parties to lose money or valuable property.
Dishonesty or deception does not always include telling outright lies. In some cases, fraud may involve misrepresenting factors, engaging in purposeful miscommunication, or failing to disclose pertinent facts. Other types of fraud may include failing to correct a third party about a mistaken assumption or purposely insinuating that specific facts are accurate when they are not.
Fraud may be as simple as writing a few bad checks or as complex as running a multi-state government embezzlement or money laundering operation. The type and the extent of a fraud offense determines the severity of the charges and penalties and the value of the money or property obtained through fraudulent means. Representation by a fraud attorney may be one of the most effective means of building a strong defense to fraud crimes charged in the local area.
Instead of being classified as individual crimes, some types of fraud fall under the classification of theft. For instance, embezzlement does not exist as a separate crime under Georgia law, but it is categorized as theft by conversion. Embezzlement occurs under O.C.G.A. § 16-8-4, for example, when a person entrusted with the funds or property of others, usually due to their employment or position, uses it without consent for their own financial gain.
Similarly, theft by deception occurs when individuals use any means of deceit to deprive others of their property intentionally. One example of theft by deception occurs when property is sold without disclosing a substantial lien or other adverse condition that will impact the ability of the buyer to enjoy and use the property as intended. Similarly, taking property from others and promising to later pay them for the property without any intention of doing so could constitute a theft by deception.
Bank Fraud Offenses Under Georgia Law
Many forms of fraud involve bank accounts, debit and credit cards, checks, and other bank-related transactions. For instance, deposit account fraud happens when individuals use checks drawn on accounts that they know are closed or that contain insufficient funds, whether they are purchasing goods or services. If individuals intentionally use checks with the knowledge that the banks on which they are drawn will not honor them, they commit deposit account fraud.
Financial transaction card fraud may exist where individuals intentionally use a debit or credit card to obtain money, goods, or services that belong to others without their consent. They also may commit this offense if they intentionally use forged, stolen, canceled, or expired cards to purchase items or services. When facing bank fraud charges, consulting a fraud attorney for guidance is always beneficial.
Look to a Fulton County Fraud Attorney for Advice
Fraud can result in both misdemeanor and felony charges, and individuals convicted of fraud may be sentenced to terms of incarceration and ordered to pay high fines. There are also a number of collateral consequences to be convicted of fraud, including inability to find employment, get a home or vehicle loan, and losing a professional license. Avoiding these unwanted consequences may be more achievable with the help of a Fulton County fraud lawyer at Hawkins Spizman.
Fraud laws can be complicated and confusing. When you are accused of any fraud, you may wish to protect your rights from the outset of your case with defense counsel.