Las Vegas Fraud Lawyer Helps Understand the Charge in Nevada
Fraud is not just one crime in Nevada; instead, there are a variety of crimes you can be charged for which involve fraud. The element they have in common is using an intentional misrepresentation of an important fact for a financial or other beneficial gain.
No matter which type of fraud crime you are arrested for, contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Las Vegas as soon as possible. Fraud crimes carry high penalties and long prison sentences and require the best defense you can get. Fraud cases are not the easiest crimes to prove, and so law enforcement and the prosecutor will go to great lengths to get evidence against you. You need a partner who can level the playing field.
What is fraud?
Fraud is intentional deception to gain financial or other personal benefits for yourself. An important component of this crime is that the person who gave you the money or benefit relied on the deceptive action or statement in doing so.
What are fraud crimes in Las Vegas, Nevada?
Fraud is part of many crimes in Nevada, including:
- Defrauding creditors by removing money or property owed. For example selling a car that has a note attached to it by using a fraudulent, clear title to achieve the sale and then failing to pay the creditor;
- Fraudulently selling real estate twice, for example by failing to promptly record a change in ownership so the second buyer has no way of knowing you have nothing left to sell;
- Obtaining signatures by false pretenses;
- Transferring title to property you do not own, or “passing off”property as belonging to you even though it does not;
- Impersonating another person, in person, by phone, or in any other way which the listener mistakes you for someone else;
- Using credit cards or other devices to remove money from another person’s financial accounts; and
- Identity theft, which can come in many forms in Nevada for purposes of committing a crime.
How are Fraud Cases Investigated in Nevada?
Fraud charges often follow an investigation which documents the fraud over time. Depending on the type of case, a state or federal agency may be involved in the investigation, especially if workers’ compensation fraud or a similar crime is involved. The following crimes and the investigating agencies are listed below:
- Securities fraud may be investigated at the federal level by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and by the Securities Division of the Nevada Secretary of State;
- Insurance fraud may be investigated by the Nevada Insurance Fraud Unit of the Attorney General’s Office;
- Consumer fraud may be investigated by a number of state agencies, including the Bureau of Consumer Protection of the Attorney General’s Office;
- Mortgage fraud may be investigated by the Mortgage Fraud Unit of the Attorney General’s Office; and
- Healthcare fraud may be investigated by the Department of Health and Human Service’s Division of Healthcare Financing and Policy. At the federal level, every agency from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may be involved.
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As you can see, a variety of state and federal agencies are dedicated to investigating and deterring fraud within the state. There are many more agencies involved in fighting fraud in other areas, as well, and for this reason, you need the best criminal defense counsel if you have been arrested for any type of fraud crime. These agencies have significant resources working against you, and your lawyer can help level the playing field.
As with any other crime, you are innocent until proven guilty of fraud crimes. You deserve and are entitled to the best fraud defense possible.
Punishment for Fraud Crimes in Las Vegas, Nevada
Penalties for fraud crimes in Nevada range from simple misdemeanors to Category A felonies. This means that for first time offenses, there may not be jail time in some cases, but in others there can be jail time of up to 20 years.
Possible sentences include:
- Auto insurance fraud can bring prison time of 1 to 4 years and fines for engaging in such activities as staging a car accident or encouraging a falsely expensive repair proposal to present to the insurance carrier;
- Credit card fraud can result in 1 to 4 years of prison time as well as fines up to $5,000, and if money was taken as a result, the victim is owed restitution. Credit card fraud, depending on the type, can also violate federal laws which have harsher penalties generally;
- Foreclosure fraud can result in 1 to 10 years in a Nevada prison, with up to $10,000 in fines. The penalties increase if the prosecutor can prove that a pattern of fraud has occurred, rather than a single instance. This can carry up to 20 years in prison and fines of $50,000;
- Gaming fraud– particularly manipulating the outcome of a gaming device- carries prison time of 1 to 6 years and fines of $10,000, plus restitution to the casino. The charges increase for each later conviction;
- Healthcare fraud carries 1 to 4 years in prison, but because federal law may also be violated, the penalties can be much higher if the case is prosecuted in federal court;
- Mortgage fraud, like foreclosure fraud, carries 1 to 10 years in a Nevada prison. Because the mail of other channels of interstate commerce are often involved, there is a good chance that the case may be brought in federal court.
Fraud is a serious charge that can involve the loss of your freedom and other rights. A qualified Las Vegas defense lawyer can represent you if you are arrested for fraud and can work to reduce your sentence or even dismiss the case entirely.
Defenses to Fraud
Fraud is a crime of intent that requires a benefit to the defendant. If the state cannot prove intent or that you received a benefit, the fraud charge may not stand. This is a complicated matter that should be handled by a Las Vegas attorney.
Better Business Bureau of Southern Nevada, Inc.
6040 S. Jones Blvd
Las Vegas NV 89118-2619
Nevada Consumer Affairs Division
3300 W. Sahara Avenue, Suite 425
Las Vegas, Nevada 89102
Read more about identity theft and the possible sentences and defenses. If you are suspected of committing a fraud or have been arrested for fraud in Las Vegas, contact LV Criminal Defense as soon as possible.