Fraud is a federal offense, which means that you could face serious penalties if you are accused of the offense and convicted for it. With fraud offenses, there must be some kind of false statement. You must also misrepresent a product or be deceitful in some way.
Essentially, fraud means that you lied to someone to trick them into doing something for your own financial gain. Typically, fraud cases involve something of value. This is usually money or property. Not every case involving dishonesty is a case of fraud, but there are some ways to know if you will be charged with fraud.
How can you be charged with fraud?
To be charged with fraud, it has to be shown that you misrepresented a material fact. Additionally, you must have known that what you were saying was not true. On top of that, it has to be shown that you rely on the misrepresentation for your own gain and that the other person had an injury or loss as a result of your dishonesty.
There are many kinds of fraud including bankruptcy fraud, credit card fraud, telemarketing fraud and wire fraud, among the others. Criminal and civil penalties are both possible in cases of fraud. A conviction is generally a felony crime and can be punished with probation, fines and jail time. Your attorney can help you fight back against allegations by showing that you were unaware of the false statements you were making or that you did not know about the fraud taking place. Even if you did, there are ways to protect your reputation moving forward.