The Basics of Fraud

The concept of fraud is fairly simple, occurring when a person takes an action that is designed to deceive another into taking an action that has financial or legal consequences. This can be something as simple as writing a bad check, or something as complex as lying on a mortgage application.

In both of these examples, you make a representation concerning your ability to pay. Likewise, in both instances, the other party relies upon this representation to their detriment.

Common Types of Fraud in Binghamton

New York Penal Law §170.00 criminalizes forgery in Binghamton and elsewhere in the State of New York. Although not specifically listed as a type of fraud, a forgery is a fraud-related crime in that it involved you allegedly making an illegal alteration to a document or creating a false one. If other people rely on the truthfulness of this document, you may have committed fraud as defined by New York Penal Law. Forgery ranges in severity from misdemeanors to serious felonies.

Heath care fraud is addressed in NYPL §177.00. Under this statue, it is illegal to knowingly make any false statement on an application for health insurance or while making a claim for payment. The severity of this charge is tied directly to the dollar value of the alleged fraud and can be as harsh as a class B felony.

Lastly, it is illegal for any person who knows that they owe debts to another to transfer property or assets prior to the beginning of a debt collection or bankruptcy proceeding. This crime, known as fraud in insolvency, is a class A misdemeanor under NYPL §185.00.

The Importance of Intent in Fraud Cases

One key portion to any fraud prosecution is the idea of intent. For a prosecutor to prove any fraud case, they must prove not only that you committed the illegal act, but also that you did so with the intent to deceive another.

For this reason, you may be able to make a valid argument that, while you did make a false statement, you did not know that it was false at the time. A fraud lawyer in Binghamton could work with you to determine if this defense applies to your case and present it in court if it does.

How a Binghamton Fraud Attorney Could Help

New York’s laws concerning criminal fraud are wide-ranging and complex, and many people who are charged with fraud are confused as to why their seemingly innocent mistake led to an arrest. A Binghamton fraud lawyer may be able to help you fully understand your situation and develop a strategy designed to produce a beneficial result.

Allegations of fraud range from minor misdemeanors to serious felonies. Whether you are charged with a single instance of passing a bad check or are alleged to have participated in a widespread fraud enterprise, the trial-tested legal team at Tully Rinckey PLLC could help. Call us today at (607) 722-1520 to schedule a consultation, or contact us via email at info@tullylegal.com.

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