Fraudulent Schemes and White Collar Crime
In Arizona, an individual can be accused of fraudulent schemes if they knowingly accept benefits from sources they know are false pretenses. This activity is immediately charged with a Class 2 felony charge. This definition is provided by the Arizona Revised Statutes, Section 13-2310, and it emphasizes the severity of the punishments associated with these “white collar” crimes in Phoenix.
Types of Fraudulent Schemes
White collar crimes cover a wide range of offenses, and most of them involve tampering with ordinary systems to produce desired results. The Arizona Revised Statutes clearly lays out several common fraudulent schemes, including:
- Bank fraud. People often try to independently control important financial investments like assets and property, which are technically owned by the bank.
- Computer tampering. Arizona is serious about cracking down on this type of fraudulent activity. Altering a computer system, knowingly installing a virus on a computer, acquiring confidential documents, and much more is recognized as crime.
- Theft. Whether a person uses materials or technology in an unauthorized way or accidentally gains control of lost items without conducting proper inquiries, the state of Arizona takes theft seriously and charges these individuals with felonies.
- Mortgage fraud. The housing market is a treacherous game these days, and Arizona is ready to punish people who knowingly manipulate the system to gain control on their home without a suitable financial situation.
Other fraudulent schemes include bribery, counterfeiting, extortion, forgery, insurance and health care fraud, money laundering, racketeering, and welfare fraud.
Sentences for Fraudulent Schemes
The state of Arizona is committed to punishing individuals involved in fraudulent schemes. The standard method for convicting white collar criminals is as follows:
- The first offense results in a Class 2 felony charge and additional penalties ranging from simple probation to thirteen years in prison.
- With a history of one conviction, individuals found guilty of another fraudulent scheme are subject to anywhere between four and a half and twenty-five years in prison.
- With a history of two fraudulent scheme convictions, individuals receive a minimum of ten and a half years in prison.
People who are involved in schemes with a benefit of $100,000 or more cannot have their sentence suspended. They must serve whatever penalties decided by the judge, which is always a prison-only sentence.
Hire a Fraud Lawyer
The penalties for fraud are severe, which is why it’s important for individuals to find a dependable white collar crime lawyer in Phoenix. Criminal defense lawyers help clients determine the best strategies for clearing the charges or find ways to reduce the terms of a sentence. Their involvement in any case of fraudulent schemes is valuable.
Fraud and white collar crime lawyers work diligently to find evidence their client didn’t become involved in a scheme for the sake of personal benefit or didn’t receive a personal benefit from their involvement. Lawyers know several ways to find redeeming evidence and exonerate their clients.
The most important thing for any individual charged with involvement in a fraudulent scheme is to seek counsel from an experienced lawyer early in the proceedings. Having the assistance of a skilled professional creates the most promising chance for vindication.
Attorney Scott Stewart at the Law Offices of Scott David Stewart is one of the most talented fraud lawyers in Arizona. Utilizing his expertise will be an enormous asset to any person dealing with accusations of fraudulent activity.