When you are accused of business fraud, your entire reputation is suddenly on the line. With just one mistake, you could potentially lose everything you’ve worked so hard to build. That’s why it’s so important to work with a criminal defense attorney, should you be charged with fraud. Approximately 68 million people throughout the nation are living with a criminal record, but you’ll want to do everything you can to avoid becoming one of them. Whether you’ve been unjustly accused due to a misunderstanding or made a conscious, impulsive decision in your professional life, a business fraud lawyer can help walk you through the process and provide you with a passionate defense in a court of law. Before you consult with a criminal defense attorney, here’s what you should know about fraud crimes in Indiana.
What is corporate fraud?
Corporate fraud involves specific activities conducted by a company or individual person that are meant to provide a dishonest and illegal advantage to that party.
What are some examples of business fraud?
A few of the most common types of corporate fraud in Indiana include check and credit card fraud, insurance fraud (including worker’s comp fraud), identity theft, and forgery, among others.
- Check Fraud: If an individual or company purposefully uses or alters a check, bank draft, or e-debt or uses one that is otherwise false in some way (i.e., when an account has insufficient funds), this constitutes check fraud. In Indiana, this is usually a Class A misdemeanor and can be punished by up to a year in jail and a $5,000 fine. But fines can reach $10,000 and guilty parties can spend anywhere from six months to six years in prison, depending on the situation.
- Credit Card Fraud: If you’re suspected of trying to defraud someone and obtain some kind of property using a credit card you knew was expired, false, or illegally obtained, you can be charged with credit card fraud. This crime is usually a Level 6 felony, which can result in fines of up to $10,000 and six months to two-and-a-half years in jail.
- Insurance Fraud: When a company or individual at that company misrepresents or lies about a situation dealing with insurance transactions, this often constitutes insurance fraud. There are several different types of insurance fraud, including worker’s comp fraud (which happens when employees lie about sustaining an injury at work), property fraud (misrepresenting or fabricating damages to or loss of personal property to obtain insurance money), or even inappropriate cancellation of insurance policies or wrongful denial of coverage. Punishments vary, but they’ll often involve jail sentences, hefty fines, cancellation of policies, or even restitution.
- Identity Theft: When a company or individual obtains and uses someone else’s identity without their consent and with the intent of harming or defrauding someone, that’s identity theft. This Level 6 felony can be punishable with fines of up to $10,000 and up to 2.5 years in prison, but these consequences are just a baseline. If you’ve defrauded several people (or very important people) or have made stolen large amounts of money doing so, you could face more serious consequences.
- Forgery: In Indiana, forgery refers to creating a false document or altering a valid one with the goal of defrauding someone. Deeds, wills, contracts, prescriptions, and checks all fall under this category. If these documents were supposedly made by a different person than who actually made them, were created at a different time than they were in reality, or contain terms that were never approved by the originator, that’s considered forgery. If found guilty of forgery, you can serve up to eight years in prison and be forced to pay fines of up to $10,000.
- Securities Fraud: Securities Fraud is a Level 5 felony that is punishable by up to six (6) years in prison. Under Indiana Code 23-19-5-1, it is un lawful for a person, in connection with the offer, sale or purchase of a security, directly or indirectly to: (1) employ a device, scheme, or artifice to defraud; (2) make an untrue statement of material fact or to omit a material fact necessary in order to make the statement made, in the light of circumstances under which they were made, not misleading; or (3) engage in act, practice or course of business that operates or would operate as fraud or deceit upon another person.
Need help for a business fraud related charge?
If you’ve been accused of fraud, you need expert assistance from one of the most experienced criminal defense attorneys Indianapolis has to provide. For any criminal defense help or to schedule a consultation, contact Hayes Ruemmele today.