Public officials are entrusted with making decisions regarding the spending of taxpayer funds and these officials are expected to serve as wise, responsible stewards of public money. If a public official abuses his position to misuse or misappropriate public funds, the consequences can be dire in terms of trust in government and the government’s ability to provide services to the public as a whole.
Nevada law strictly forbids the misuse of public money and imposes harsh penalties upon officials who facilitate the misuse or inappropriate appropriation of public funds. There are myriad criminal offenses with which a public official can be charged for various types of financial malfeasance, including for the improper payment of claims presented to officials.
If you are accused of any offense related to your position as a public officer, the mere accusation alone can have a profound impact on your career and professional life. Depending upon the offense, your freedom is likely also at stake. You need to work with a Las Vegas defense attorney who understands how to defend yourself when you are accused of crimes committed in connection with your office.
LV Criminal Defense has provided representation to many public officials, including officials accused of falsely paying claims. To find out more about how our firm can help you to fight against serious charges, give us a call today.
Nick Wooldridge has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in Nevada.
Nevada Revised Statute section 197.150 is the statute that defines the offense of falsely auditing or paying a claim. According to N.R.S. 197.150, any public officer or person discharging the duties of a public officer could potentially be charged with this crime, as could any person in a place of trust acting under the authority of a town, county, or city.
Public officers and others who hold the job of auditing or paying claims could be charged if they knowingly allow to be paid, or pay, claims containing false or fraudulent information. If a public officer takes part in an audit in any way that allows a false claim to be paid, the officer can also be charged under N.R.S. 197.150.
The specific punishment that will be imposed for paying fraudulent claims or for facilitating the payment of false claims will vary depending upon the amount of money that was involved in the fraudulent payment. If the false claim involved $250 or more, then the offense is a Category D felony. If the false claim involved less than $250, then the offense is a misdemeanor.
In addition to possible jail time for either a felony or a misdemeanor offense, the public officer or person who pays the false claim, allows it to be paid, or facilitates an audit allowing it to be paid, will also be required to make restitution.
A Nevada criminal defense lawyer can provide you with representation if you have been accused of falsely auditing a claim, falsely allowing a fraudulent claim to be paid, or falsely paying a fraudulent claim. All of these charges are very serious and you need to work with an experienced attorney immediately so you can respond assertively to accusations and begin developing a sound legal strategy.
LV Criminal Defense can help. Our criminal defense firm in Las Vegas has provided representation to many public officials accused of varying types of criminal acts. We know the ins-and-outs of Nevada law and we will work hard to help you get an acquittal or reduce the penalties that you could face when you are accused of a serious offense. To find out more about how we can help you, give us a call today.