FRAUD LAWS PENNSYLVANIA
The crime of Fraud is defined as "theft by deceit". Fraud involves a knowing and intentional attempt, to carry out a scheme or deceive a victim, by way of misrepresentation or deceit, in order to obtain money or other benefits for one’s own pecuniary gain. Fraud is a term that is used to describe a number of different particular offenses which generally fall under the category of white collar crimes.
Both Pennsylvania law and Federal law outline certain offenses and corresponding penalties that are considered fraud. A person is found guilty of fraud, if it can be proven that with full intent to deceive or cause harm, they did:
- Destroy, remove, or conceal any deed, mortgage, security instrument, or other writing, for which the law provides public recording (Real Estate Fraud)
· Make false entries on corporate books, (Business Fraud)
· Create misleading and deceptive sales claims advertisements.(Mail Fraud)
- Make false reports, by officers of banks, trust companies, etc (Bank Fraud)
- Make false statements as to financial condition (Tax Fraud, Fraud in Insolvency)
· Issue fraudulent certificates of stock of a corporation. (Securities Fraud)
· Create false invoices, affidavits or fraudulent insurance claims, with the intent of defrauding the insurer. (Insurance Fraud)
· Make false statements acting as an investment company offering stocks or securities for sale. (Securities Fraud)
· Put forth false representation in order to obtains a mortgage, mortgage note, promissory note, etc. . (Mortgage Fraud)
- Misrepresent associations with, or academic standings at, postsecondary educational institution and/or makes fraudulent claims of academic degree or title.
Fraud committed against Government Agencies face stiffer penalties. Some examples of fraud against a government agency are:
- Medicare/Medicaid fraud
- Food stamp Fraud
- Unemployment Compensation Fraud
- Welfare Fraud
- Social Security Fraud
Penalties for fraud vary state by state, and range from misdemeanor to felony, depending upon the particular nature of the offense, the intended or actual victim, and the value and type of property involved in the fraud. If the offense is charged as a federal crime, a defendant will face harsher penalties, due to federal mandatory sentencing requirements for Fraud.
Free Legal Consultation
Michael N. Kotik, Esq. (PA, NJ)