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Understanding fraud charges

On Behalf of | Jan 9, 2020 | criminal defense |

Fraud is the act of intentionally deceiving others for personal gain. The perpetrator is often in pursuit of monetary gain, and it usually involves convincing a victim of something while having full knowledge that the information is false. 

These types of cases are white-collar crimes. Depending on the value of the fraud committed, the sentencing may vary greatly from a misdemeanor to a felony 

Common types of fraud 

Identity, credit card, insurance and mail fraud are some of the most common types of cases. Identity fraud is one of the fastest-growing crimes in the United States. Cases usually result from theft of personal data, such as stealing a Social Security number and using it to impersonate the person, which may lead to credit card fraud. Credit card fraud is when someone uses another person’s stolen credit card or makes a credit under that person’s name. 

Insurance fraud is when a person presents false or misleading information to insurers. For example, faking a fall and injury to receive insurance money is a case of insurance fraud. When a person mails something to commit a fraudulent transaction, the crime is mail fraud. For example, the crime may involve providing a deceptive offer to gain property or money from the recipient. 

When it is a misdemeanor or felony 

In Pennsylvania, theft of less than $50 is a misdemeanor of the third degree.  Theft of $50 or more but less than $200 is a misdemeanor of the second degree.  Theft of $200 or more is a first-degree misdemeanor. If the theft exceeds $2,500 or is an automobile, it is a third-degree felony. 

Understanding the penalties for various acts of fraud is important for understanding how the law may evaluate your case and the repercussions faced.