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Criminal Defense - Fraud Defense

Were you accused of fraud in Connecticut?

Fraud is a type of larceny, which means a form of deception is used to acquire property that belongs to a person, and the person who committed fraud did not have rights to the property that was taken. If you are facing fraud charges in the New Haven, Connecticut area, Michael Dolan at Dolan Law Firm is ready to help. Our criminal defense team has extensive experience handling various types of theft crimes including robbery, larceny, and fraud. No matter how serious your fraud charges may be, our firm can build a strong defense on your behalf and ensure you receive a fair outcome.

Don’t Let Fraud Charges Hinder Your Future!

If you are convicted of fraud, you may be haunted by this mistake for the rest of your life. Not only may you face jail time and high fines, but your permanent record may be blemished as well. Employers may ask potential employees if they have ever been convicted of fraud, which can inhibit job opportunities. Many employers do not want to hire an individual who has been accused, much less convicted, of fraud.

There are various types of fraud such as:

  • Credit Card Fraud
  • Check Forgery
  • Embezzlement
  • Identity Fraud
  • Tax Fraud
  • Unemployment Fraud
  • Welfare Fraud
  • Wire Fraud

Depending on the value of the property taken, you may be facing a serious offense. If you were involved in fraudulent activity that included property valued at less than $1,000, it is considered a misdemeanor. Theft of property valued at $1,000 or more may be considered a felony, and any federal fraud charge is automatically considered a felony.

 

Debit and Credit Card Theft

Credit Card Theft: Class A Misdemeanor

  • Taking a credit card without the cardholder’s consent, or receiving a credit card with the intent to use, sell, or transfer it to any other person, or
  • Receiving a credit card that you know has been lost, mislaid, or mistakenly delivered and retaining that card with the intent to use, sell, or transfer the card to someone else
  • Punishable by a fine of up to $2,000 and imprisonment for up to one year

Selling or Buying a Credit Card: Class A Misdemeanor

  • Selling or buying a credit card from someone other than the issuer
  • Punishable by a fine of up to $2,000 and imprisonment for up to one year

Using a Credit Card as Security for Debt: Class A Misdemeanor

  • Obtaining control over a credit card as security for debt with the intent to defraud the issuer, a participating party, or a person providing money, goods, services, or anything else of value
  • Punishable by a fine of up to $2,000 and imprisonment for up to one year

Signing Someone Else’s Credit Card: Class A Misdemeanor

  • Any person other than the cardholder (or someone authorized by the cardholder) signing a credit card with the intent to defraud the issuer, a participating party, a person providing money, goods, services, or anything else of value, or any other person
  • Punishable by a fine of up to $2,000 and imprisonment for up to one year

Credit Card Forgery: Class D Felony

  • Falsely making or embossing a purported credit card with the intent to defraud an issuer, a participating party, a person providing money, goods, services, or anything else of value, or any other person
  • Punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and imprisonment for 1-5 years

Provider Fraud: Class A Misdemeanor or Class D Felony

A provider can commit credit card fraud by accepting a credit card that they know is stolen, forged, expired, or revoked. It is also illegal for a provider to represent to an issuer that money, goods, services, or anything else of value has been provided to a cardholder when it wasn’t provided.

If the provider engages in either of these fraudulent acts and improperly obtains less than $500 over a six-month period, then the provider has committed a Class A misdemeanor. If more than $500 is stolen over a six-month period, then the provider has committed a Class D felony. This offense will be punished by a fine of up to $2,000 and imprisonment for up to one year (Class A misdemeanor) or a fine of up to $5,000 and imprisonment for 1-5 years (Class D felony).

 

Identity Fraud

A person commits identity fraud when such person knowingly uses personal identifying information of another person to obtain or attempt to obtain money, credit, goods, services, property or medical information without the consent of such other person. Alternatively, the personal information may be completely fake or belong to someone deceased. Identity fraud is distinguished from identity theft, which means such information is stolen for a malicious purpose, but not yet used for the purposes of fraud. However, the two terms are commonly interchanged due to the fact that they nearly always occur together.

“Personal identifying information” is defined as any name, number or other information that may be used, alone or in conjunction with any other information, to identify a specific individual. This includes, but not limited to: an individual’s name, date of birth, mother’s maiden name, motor vehicle operator’s license number, Social Security number, employee identification number, employer or taxpayer identification number, alien registration number, government passport number, health insurance identification number, demand deposit account number, savings account number, credit or debit card number, or unique biometric data such as fingerprint, voice print, retina or iris image, or other unique physical representation. Other forms of identity fraud include fake criminal records, false loan applications, etc.

Identity Theft in the First Degree: Class B Felony

This offense is punishable by 1-20 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000. A person is guilty of identity theft in the first degree when such person commits identity theft, as defined above, and:

(a) the victim is under sixty years of age, and the value of the money, credit, goods, services or property obtained exceeds ten thousand dollars, or

(b) the victim is sixty years of age or older, and the value of the money, credit, goods, services or property obtained exceeds five thousand dollars

Identity Theft in the Second Degree: Class C Felony

This offense is punishable by 1-10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. A person is guilty of identity theft in the second degree when such person commits identity theft, as defined above, and:

(a) the victim is under sixty years of age, and the value of the money, credit, goods, services or property obtained exceeds five thousand dollars, or

(b) such other person is sixty years of age or older

If the offense is a base definition of identity fraud and is less extreme – for example, the victim is under 60 and the value of property stolen is under $5,000 – the defendant could instead be charged with identity theft in the third degree, a Class D felony. Identity theft in the third degree is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and imprisonment for 1-5 years.

Trafficking in Personal Identifying Information: Class D felony

A person is guilty of trafficking in personal identifying information when such person sells, gives or otherwise transfers personal identifying information of another person to a third person knowing that such information has been obtained without the authorization of such other person and that such third person intends to use such information for an unlawful purpose. This is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and imprisonment for 1-5 years.

Criminal Impersonation: Class A Misdemeanor

This is punishable by a fine of up to $2,000 and imprisonment for up to one year. A person is guilty of criminal impersonation when such person:

(1) impersonates another and does an act in such assumed character with intent to obtain a benefit or to injure or defraud another

(2) pretends to be a representative of some person or organization and does an act in such pretended capacity with intent to obtain a benefit or to injure or defraud another

(3) pretends to be a state marshal with intent to obtain a benefit or induce another to submit to such pretended official authority or otherwise to act in reliance upon that pretense

(4) pretends to be a public servant (other than a police officer) or wears or displays without authority any uniform, badge or shield by which such public servant is lawfully distinguished, with intent to induce another to submit to such pretended official authority or otherwise to act in reliance upon that pretense

(5) with intent to defraud, deceive or injure another, uses an electronic device to impersonate another and such act results in personal injury or financial loss to another or the initiation of judicial proceedings against another

(a) The provisions of subdivision (5) shall not apply to a law enforcement officer acting in the performance of his or her official duties

Impersonation of a Police Officer: Class D Felony

This is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and imprisonment for 1-5 years. A person is guilty of impersonation of a police officer when they:

(a) pretend to be a sworn member of an organized local police department or the Division of State Police within the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, or

(b) wear or display without authority any uniform, badge or shield by which such police officer is lawfully distinguished, with intent to induce another person to submit to such pretended official authority or otherwise to act in reliance upon that pretense

 

Contact Our New Haven Criminal Defense Lawyer Now

For more information on a type of fraud not covered here, contact Attorney Michael Dolan to learn what, exactly, you are being accused of and how best to fight it. It is our goal to help you avoid a prison sentence and marks on your permanent record at all costs during a fraud case. We understand how important your future is to you, which is why we can sit down with you, establish a solid plan of action, and fight to protect your rights in a court of law. We offer free case evaluations, so if you are in need of representation and would like to learn how our firm can help you, please contact us. Our aggressive theft crimes attorney is ready to go to work for you today.