At its very basic legal definition, fraud is the act of stealing money, goods, or possessions without another person's knowledge. It can be done by misrepresenting the facts or deceiving the person who owns those goods. There are many different types of fraud crimes that can occur, from civil fraud to criminal fraud. The crimes will also vary state by state.
When a fraud becomes a matter for the federal government to handle, then the penalties will only be much more enhanced. These penalties may include probation, jail or incarceration for several years and fines that may cost thousands of dollars. The criminal process can be much more taxing on everyone involved, particularly the defendant.
What Elements Are Needed to Prove Fraud?
Fraud will vary depending on the type of case. For the most part, the prosecutor will need to prove that the accused person misrepresented relevant facts or knew that their information was false. They then relayed that unreliable or false information to the victim, who then suffered damages or losses because of this fact.
Some examples of fraud crimes include the following:
With so many different types of crimes listed under the umbrella of "fraud crimes," this begs the question about whether or not or the actual crime fits the punishment.
The U.S. Constitution holds that penalties for federal laws must be proportionate to the crime committed. As an example, someone who committed a petty crime or a misdemeanor should not need to face life imprisonment. On the other hand, taking another person's life, an act that is considered morally objectionable. Aggravated circumstances should also be proportionate to the punishment.
If you have any further questions about fraud crimes and the types of penalties from those, please contact our Knoxville criminal defense attorney, Robert R. Kurtz for a free case consultation.