Tampa Fraud Lawyers
Fraud is one of the most serious white collar charges that an individual can face. Depending on the amount of money or value of assets involved, penalties for conviction can amount to years in prison. But for those who have been charged with fraud crimes, it is important to realize that everyone has legal rights and options. If you are innocent, you deserve aggressive representation to help you obtain a full dismissal. And even if you are guilty, you still are entitled to a vigorous defense.
Whether you have been formally charged with fraud or you would like to come forward on your own accord, it is important to speak with a lawyer before saying anything to the police or any other party.
Obtaining Favorable Results For Those Charged With Fraud Crimes
At O’Brien Hatfield, P.A., we are here to help you address even the most complex of fraud charges. As your counsel, we will help protect your rights, ensure that the prosecution does not overcharge and help you work toward a favorable resolution.
Our lawyers are highly experienced with fraud cases and are exceptionally equipped to address charges of:
- Check and bank fraud
- Credit card fraud
- Government contract fraud
- Health care fraud
- Insurance fraud
- Mail and wire fraud
- Medicare and Medicaid fraud
- Mortgage and real estate fraud
- Using offshore bank accounts to illegally evade taxes
- Passport and visa fraud
- Securities fraud
- Reverse mortgage fraud
- Tax evasion and IRS tax return fraud
Serious Defense In Florida For Bank Fraud Charges
Bank fraud can be charged when a party knowingly defrauds or attempts to defraud a financial institution or obtains money, funds, credits, assets, securities or other property owned by or under the control of a financial institution. Under 18 U.S.C. Section 1344, the penalties for conviction can include a prison sentence of up to 30 years and/or a fine up to $100,000.
Check fraud can be covered by a number of statutes, including 18 U.S.C. Section 1344. Bank and check fraud may be prosecuted as state and federal crimes, and they may be investigated by local authorities, the FBI and the Secret Service. If you have been charged or think you may be charged, contact an attorney immediately. At O’Brien Hatfield, P.A., we are experienced with state and federal criminal defense. No matter how serious the charges, our Tampa check fraud lawyers can represent you or your business.
Check and bank fraud charges can cover a range of offenses and be associated with numerous other crimes such as:
- Writing bad checks
- Check kiting
- Mail and wire fraud
- Falsifying loan applications
- Business fraud
- Identity theft
To be considered bank fraud, the charges must constitute an intentional scheme to defraud. Sometimes an error can be misinterpreted as intentional fraud. We can work to prove that there was no scheme to defraud and to mitigate any damages.
Firm Defense Against Mortgage Fraud Charges
Our Tampa mortgage fraud attorneys have experience with a broad spectrum of federal criminal cases. Because mortgage fraud involves federally insured financial institutions, it is charged as a federal crime. If you are facing these charges, be certain that your lawyer has the federal court experience necessary to protect your rights. We can defend you or your business against mortgage fraud charges and any related charges such as:
- Mail and wire fraud
- Falsifying loan documents
- Using straw buyers
- Illegal underwriting
- Over-reporting assets
- Inflating income information
- Foreclosure fraud
- Bank fraud
If you are under investigation or have been charged with real estate or mortgage fraud, you need a lawyer immediately. Working with an attorney early in the process, such as the investigative stage, may help to prevent an indictment.
Reverse Mortgage Fraud Attorneys In Tampa
A homeowner who is 62 years old or older may choose to convert the equity in his or her home into cash through a reverse mortgage. Reverse mortgage fraud is the intentional act of defrauding a financial institution that is insured by the federal government in the course of doing so. As with regular mortgage and real estate fraud, the penalties for conviction of reverse mortgage fraud are severe – up to 30 years of prison and fines of up to $1 million.
In most cases, multiple parties are implicated in reverse mortgage fraud scams. Any party suspected of involvement may be charged. Some scenarios in which this kind of fraud may be charged include:
- Inflating the value of property appraisals to convince senior citizens to purchase property and procure reverse mortgages
- Keeping money obtained through a reverse mortgage rather than using it to pay off the mortgage
- Recruiting senior citizens to assist in reverse mortgage schemes through inaccurate advertisements or other solicitation
- Misrepresenting the risk of losing the property when taking a reverse mortgage
Our reverse mortgage fraud attorneys in Tampa have a well-deserved reputation for achieving success for our clients, whether through prevention of charges being filed, a plea to lesser charges or outright dismissal of charges.
Tampa Government Contract Fraud Attorneys
Government contract fraud is usually charged as a federal offense but may also be charged at the state level. Fraudulent government billing charges can damage an individual’s or company’s reputation and business. A conviction may mean a prison sentence for individuals or company directors or officers. In addition, you may face significant fines and the loss of your professional license.
Our government contract fraud attorneys represent individuals and businesses accused of government fraud, including:
- Defense contractors
- Construction companies
- Health care providers, including doctors, dentists, hospitals, medical suppliers and pharmacies
Fraudulent government contract charges can involve kickbacks, price fixing, overbilling, bid rigging, falsifying invoices, providing substandard goods or services, or charging for goods or services unrelated to the business. Parties charged with government fraud may also be charged with offenses such as mail and wire fraud, accounting fraud and conspiracy.
Have You Been Accused Of Or Charged With Credit Card Fraud?
Credit card fraud (18 U.S.C. Section 1029) covers offenses such as fraudulently using another person’s card, producing fraudulent cards and trafficking in fraudulent cards. A conviction can involve fines and multiyear prison sentences, depending on the circumstances of the crime.
In many cases, credit card fraud is charged with identity theft (18 U.S.C. Section 1028). Depending on the specifics of the case, conviction for identity theft or aggravated identity theft can include fines and a prison sentence.
Credit card fraud may be prosecuted by state and federal agencies, including the Secret Service and the FBI. To achieve a favorable outcome, you need a criminal defense team with the ability to fight the state and federal governments.
Defending Florida Citizens Accused of Mail And Wire Fraud
Mail fraud (U.S.C. Chapter 63) is intentionally planning, creating or carrying out a scheme to defraud others using the U.S. mail or private carriers during any part of the crime. Similarly, wire fraud (18 U.S.C. Section 1343) is intentionally planning, creating or carrying out a scheme to defraud others using the internet, phone, radio or television. Charges involving the internet may include the use of email or websites.
Because they are federal crimes, the penalties for mail and wire fraud can be severe. A conviction can include fines and a prison sentence. For defrauding a financial institution, the sentence can be up to 30 years in prison.
Our wire and mail fraud lawyers represent individuals and businesses charged with mail and wire fraud. In many instances, they are charged in association with other crimes such as:
- Money laundering of illegally obtained funds
- Health care fraud, such as billing insurance for unnecessary tests
- Securities fraud
- Drug crimes like forging a prescription
- Identity theft
- Computer crimes
- Credit card fraud
- Tax evasion and other forms of tax fraud
- Pyramid or Ponzi schemes
- Crimes included in the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) Act crimes
The federal government has nearly limitless resources to investigate and prosecute crimes. Many federal agencies, including the FBI, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), may be involved in prosecuting mail and wire fraud. You need a lawyer who will look out for your interests.
What Is The Sarbanes-Oxley Act?
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act imposes many responsibilities on corporate directors and officers. The knowing or willful failure to comply with these responsibilities can lead to severe criminal sanctions, including prison time. The following allegations could give rise to criminal penalties under Sarbanes-Oxley:
- Falsifying quarterly or annual reports
- Committing securities fraud
- Committing obstruction of justice
- Altering corporate documents
At our law firm, we fully understand the provisions of Sarbanes-Oxley and how they may apply to the facts of your case. We will thoroughly investigate the government’s allegations to build a powerful defense. If there are weaknesses in the government’s case, we will find them and use them to your advantage.
SEC Violations And Insider Trading In Florida
There may be numerous parties involved in securities fraud. Company officials may attempt to deceive their investors by presenting false information about their investments, such as mischaracterization of asset values. Or, a company officer or employee may unlawfully disclose confidential stock information to other parties. If an individual knowingly acts on that confidential information, he or she may also be charged.
Securities fraud may involve the transmission of fraudulent or confidential information over the internet, which can result in wire fraud charges. Depending on the circumstances of the case, suspects may also be charged with running a Ponzi or pyramid scheme or with conspiracy.
What Is Structuring?
Structuring is the practice of executing financial transactions (such as the making of bank deposits) in a specific pattern calculated to avoid the creation of certain records and reports required by law, such as the United States of America’s Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and IRS Section 6050I (relating to the requirement to file Form 8300). Structuring includes the act of parceling what would otherwise be a large financial transaction into a series of smaller transactions to avoid scrutiny by law enforcement or regulators. Structuring often appears in federal indictments related to money laundering, fraud and drug conspiracies.
Title 31 of the United States Code Section 5324 requires the filing of a currency transaction report for transactions of more than $10,000 in cash (U.S. or foreign). Financial institutions suspecting deposit structuring with intent to avoid the law are required to file a report to the government. A violation of this provision may be punished by a fine or up to 10 years in prison, or both, depending upon the amount structured.
Experienced Paycheck Protection Program Fraud Defense
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) program that aids businesses with financial incentives intended to assist them through the COVID-19 crisis. Recently, business owners and other individuals have come to face fraud charges for forgivable loans they received from the federal government.
Amid all the financial turmoil brought on by the pandemic, you likely have a lot on your mind. It can be easy to misunderstand financial assistance programs on an administrative level. When requirements and qualifications for such programs have ambiguous language, individuals may incidentally find themselves amid fraud charges for simply making a few mistakes.
You may have provided false information in your application. Or, perhaps you failed to accurately represent payroll and account details. Whatever your case may be, our fraud attorneys have the experience and resources necessary to provide you with an informed defense approach.
Florida Fraud Defense Attorneys
Our results show why so many others have trusted us with their criminal matters. For a free consultation, call our firm at 813-440-2347 or 888-496-5916, or contact us online. Our Tampa fraud attorneys are ready to help with fraud charges throughout Florida.