Fraud is the intentional action to deceive another person or even a company for an unlawful gain. Fraud can occur in many facets, but it is most often seen in financial dealings, real estate, investments and insurance payouts.
Arizona revised statute 13-2310 is the guiding statute for determining the legal consequences of committing fraud. According to A.R.S 13-2310, those who commit fraud are guilty of a class two felony and if the amount of money involved is more than $100,000 or the sale/marketing of opioids was involved, then the person who committed the fraud is not eligible for a suspension of sentence, probation, pardon or release from confinement.
The most common forms of fraud are:
- Insurance Fraud
- Wire Fraud
- Consumer Fraud
- Identity Theft
The insurance industry consists of roughly 7,000 companies who collect over 1 trillion dollars each year. There are thousands of cases each year where people are caught fraudulently submitting false insurance claims in an effort to get more money. In fact, the FBI estimates the total cost of all insurance fraud to be roughly 41 billion dollars and this amount is increasing each year.
In its most basic form, insurance fraud consists of the intentional exaggeration of claims, submission of falsified medical history/records, faking death/kidnapping or viatical fraud. Each of these forms of insurance fraud are done with the purpose of intentionally misleading an insurance company for personal financial gain.
Auto Insurance Fraud
Auto insurance fraud may include disposing of a car then claiming it was stolen to receive a settlement payment or a new car. Another common example of auto insurance fraud comes from improper repair work; a repair company who is expecting payment from an insurance company may use cheaper parts in an effort to increase their profit, but in so doing they are committing insurance fraud.
Over the last several years there has been an uptake in individuals being scammed out of money by people calling and pretending to be the IRS. During these phone calls, the scammers are intentionally misleading the people they call as they tell them that they work for the IRS, and that unless they pay a certain amount of money, they will be arrested.
This action of intentionally defrauding someone over the telephone and demanding money is considered to be wire fraud. Wire fraud is a crime by which someone is defrauded by means of electronic communications or by phone/fax. Anyone who uses internet or phone call schemes to defraud may be charged with wire fraud.
Wire fraud is a federal crime that carries a sentence of not more than 20 years in prison, with fines of up to $250,000 for individuals and $500,000 for organizations.
Unlike the previously mentioned forms of fraud, consumer fraud is multifaceted. Consumer fraud refers to the varying fraud schemes that cause a consumer both personal and financial losses by means of identity theft, mortgage fraud, and credit/debit card fraud.
Identity theft is the crime that occurs when someone steals your personal information. This often includes your name, bank account number, social security number and credit card information. After gaining this information the individual can “assume” the identity of the victim, and will then be able to access bank accounts, as well as open credit cards in the victim’s name, all the while causing financial havoc to the victim.
Committing identity theft in Arizona is very serious. Arizona law classifies identity theft as a class 4 felony, punishable by up to two and a half years in prison.
Today’s mortgage scams are aimed towards troubled homeowners. Mortgage fraud is typically carried out by real estate and mortgage specialists who use their skills deceive homeowners into improperly obtaining loan modifications, equity skimming and foreclosure rescue. In these scams, homeowners put their trust in individuals who they believe to be properly licensed and acting in their favor, but instead are taken advantage of.
Credit/Debit Card Fraud
Credit/debit card fraud is the improper use or possession of a card by someone other than the owner of the card. If you use a stolen credit card or are on the receiving end of anything that was illegally purchased, you may be charged with fraud. The charges for credit/debit card fraud range from a misdemeanor to a felony, based on how the card was used.
FAQ about Arizona Fraudulent Scheme and Artifices Statutes:
Q: What is insurance fraud?
Insurance fraud is any action taken to intentionally mislead an insurance company in an effort to illegally obtain more money from them, it is most often done through the submission of exaggerated claims.
Q: What is considered wire fraud?
Wire fraud is the act of defrauding people over the phone or the internet, and common examples of it are the IRS and Nigerian prince schemes.
Q: What is consumer fraud?
Consumer fraud is any deceptive business practice that causes a consumer financial or personal loss, identity theft, or the use of a stolen credit/debit card.
Q: Can you go to jail for fraud?
The charges related to fraud range from a misdemeanor to a felony and conviction on fraud charges may bring a prison or jail sentence.
Facing a Fraud Charge in Arizona?
The charges related to committing insurance fraud are tough, and having an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side will play a pivotal role in obtaining the best outcome for your case. With results such as the dropping and reduction of charges, lessening of penalties and prevention of jail time, the criminal defense attorneys at Jackson White Law are the right choice for you.
Call the JacksonWhite Criminal Law team at (480) 467-4370 to discuss your case today.