Fraud in Florida – What is It and What’s at Stake?
Mortgage fraud. Insurance Fraud. Check fraud. Even theme park ticket fraud. All involve some type of dishonesty. Depending on the severity of the dishonesty, all can land you in jail or prison. Or, as previously discussed on this blog, like Casey Anthony, may land you on probation for a period of months or years. Not to mention the possibility of restitution, or being ordered to pay back any money that was acquired through fraud.
If you face a criminal fraud charge, your Orlando fraud lawyer can explain the penalties you may face if convicted. The good news is that fraud can be very difficult to prove — and it’s the state’s job to prove that you committed a criminal act, not yours — and many instances of alleged fraud may not be fraudulent at all.
It’s certainly possible to commit what may be considered a fraudulent act without knowing or even intending to do so. As a tourist, and maybe even as a Florida resident, you may not know that the state outlawed the resale of multi-day park passes, or ‘hopper’ passes as Disney calls them.
‘Check fraud’ may also be another instance of an innocent act that can be considered fraud. Particularly in times like these, it’s not difficult to write a check that you thought you had the funds to cover, only to have it returned for non-sufficient funds or ‘NSF.’ Or, to attempt to cash a check that you believed to be real, only to find out that it was fake or otherwise fraudulent. As businesses close their doors, outstanding checks may be returned by banks noting ‘Account Closed.’
It’s unlikely that these types of check fraud will result in criminal charges, but it’s certainly possible. It’s more likely that an act done with the intention of defrauding another, such as stealing checks belonging to another, intending to cash them and make off with the money, may result in fraud charges.
Recently, two men stopped on I-75, traveling from Tampa to Miami, were found to have eight checks, all with different names, in their possession. They were arrested on fraud and theft charges.
Casey Anthony is on probation for check fraud for stealing a friend’s checkbook, forging checks and spending money that did not belong to her.
Although fraud may seem a less serious crime — particularly when compared to murder, sex crimes or other violent offenses — a fraud charge is not something to take lightly. As your Orlando criminal defense attorney will explain, a Florida fraud conviction can greatly limit job prospects, on top of any sentence that a judge may deliver upon conviction.
Whatever Florida criminal charge you’re facing, you deserve a second chance and you deserve an attorney who believes you do as well.
Source: NBC-2.com, “2 busted in check fraud scheme,” January 19, 2012