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Financial crimes

FRAUD

Fraud cases can be very complex, so it is important that you have a criminal defense attorney that is familiar with these types of charges and the potential defenses that are unique to fraud cases.


Fraud charges are frequently referred to as “economic” or “white collar” crimes. The evidence in these cases often included sophisticated financial records or other documents that are used to show some type of deceit. A good defense requires a thorough review of these documents, which can sometimes number in the thousands.

A criminal defense attorney that is proficient in defending fraud cases must be able to process that massive amount of information and intricately select the important documents that supports your defense.


There are many different types of fraud charges, which encompass a wide range of activities. The Ford Law Office represents clients in a variety of fraud case including organized fraudMedicaid provider fraudinsurance fraud, mortgage fraudforgery, uttering worthless checks and wire fraud.  Read below to learn more or contact The Ford Law Office for a free consultation to find out more about your defenses.  

 

Florida Statute 817.034

ORGANIZED FRAUD

To prove the crime of Organized Fraud, the State must prove the following two elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

1. That you engaged in a scheme to defraud.

2. You thereby obtained property.

If a jury finds you guilty of Organized Fraud, they must also determine if the State has proved beyond a reasonable doubt whether:

  • The aggregate value of the property obtained was $50,000 or more which makes it a 1st degree felony;

  • The aggregate value of the property obtained was $20,000 or more but less than $50,000, which makes it a 2nd degree felony;

  • The aggregate value of the property obtained was less than 20,000, which makes it a 3rd degree felony.

Definitions: 

"Scheme to Defraud" means a systematic, ongoing course of conduct with intent to defraud one or more persons, or with intent to obtain property from one or more persons by false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises or willful misrepresentations of a future act. 

"Obtain" means to temporarily or permanently deprive any person of the right to property or a benefit therefrom, or to appropriate the property to one's own use or to the use of any other person not entitled thereto.

"Property" means anything of value, and includes:

Real property, including things growing on, affixed to, or found in land;Tangible or intangible personal property, including rights, privileges, interests, and claims; and Services.      

"Value" means value determined according to any of the following: The market value of the property at the time and place of the offense, or, if such cannot be satisfactorily ascertained, the cost of replacement of the property within a reasonable time after the offense.

 

MEDICAID PROVIDER FRAUD

Fla. Stat. 409.920

A person may not:
1. Knowingly make, cause to be made, or aid and abet in the making of any false statement or false representation of a material fact, by commission or omission, in any claim submitted to the agency or its fiscal agent or a managed care plan for payment.
2. Knowingly make, cause to be made, or aid and abet in the making of a claim for items or services that are not authorized to be reimbursed by the Medicaid program.
3. Knowingly charge, solicit, accept, or receive anything of value, other than an authorized copayment from a Medicaid recipient, from any source in addition to the amount legally payable for an item or service provided to a Medicaid recipient under the Medicaid program or knowingly fail to credit the agency or its fiscal agent for any payment received from a third-party source.
4. Knowingly make or in any way cause to be made any false statement or false representation of a material fact, by commission or omission, in any document containing items of income and expense that is or may be used by the agency to determine a general or specific rate of payment for an item or service provided by a provider.
5. Knowingly solicit, offer, pay, or receive any remuneration, including any kickback, bribe, or rebate, directly or indirectly, overtly or covertly, in cash or in kind, in return for referring an individual to a person for the furnishing or arranging for the furnishing of any item or service for which payment may be made, in whole or in part, under the Medicaid program, or in return for obtaining, purchasing, leasing, ordering, or arranging for or recommending, obtaining, purchasing, leasing, or ordering any goods, facility, item, or service, for which payment may be made, in whole or in part, under the Medicaid program.
6. Knowingly submit false or misleading information or statements to the Medicaid program for the purpose of being accepted as a Medicaid provider.
7. Knowingly use or endeavor to use a Medicaid provider’s identification number or a Medicaid recipient’s identification number to make, cause to be made, or aid and abet in the making of a claim for items or services that are not authorized to be reimbursed by the Medicaid program.

 

FALSE AND FRAUDULENT INSURANCE CLAIMS

Fla. Stat. 817.234

(1)(a) A person commits insurance fraud if that person, with the intent to injure, defraud, or deceive any insurer:
1. Presents or causes to be presented any written or oral statement as part of, or in support of, a claim for payment or other benefit pursuant to an insurance policy or a health maintenance organization subscriber or provider contract, knowing that such statement contains any false, incomplete, or misleading information concerning any fact or thing material to such claim;
2. Prepares or makes any written or oral statement that is intended to be presented to any insurer in connection with, or in support of, any claim for payment or other benefit pursuant to an insurance policy or a health maintenance organization subscriber or provider contract, knowing that such statement contains any false, incomplete, or misleading information concerning any fact or thing material to such claim;
3.a. Knowingly presents, causes to be presented, or prepares or makes with knowledge or belief that it will be presented to any insurer, purported insurer, servicing corporation, insurance broker, or insurance agent, or any employee or agent thereof, any false, incomplete, or misleading information or written or oral statement as part of, or in support of, an application for the issuance of, or the rating of, any insurance policy, or a health maintenance organization subscriber or provider contract; or
b. Knowingly conceals information concerning any fact material to such application; or
4. Knowingly presents, causes to be presented, or prepares or makes with knowledge or belief that it will be presented to any insurer a claim for payment or other benefit under a personal injury protection insurance policy if the person knows that the payee knowingly submitted a false, misleading, or fraudulent application or other document when applying for licensure as a health care clinic, seeking an exemption from licensure as a health care clinic, or demonstrating compliance with chapter 400.

 

MORTGAGE FRAUD

§ 817.545(2) & (5), Fla. Stat.




In order to prove the crime of Mortgage Fraud, the State must prove the following element beyond a reasonable doubt:


      You, with intent to defraud, knowingly:


  1.  made any material misstatement, misrepresentation, or omission during the mortgage lending process with the intent that the misstatement, misrepresentation or omission would be relied on by a mortgage lender, a borrower or any other person or entity involved in the mortgage lending process; 

  2.  used or facilitated the use of any material misstatement, misrepresentation, or omission during the mortgage lending process with the intent that the material misstatement, misrepresentation, or omission would be relied on by a mortgage lender, a borrower or any other person or entity involved in the mortgage lending process;

  3. received any proceeds or other funds in connection with the mortgage lending process that you knew resulted from the making of any material misstatement, misrepresentation or omission during the mortgage lending process that was made with the intent that the misstatement, misrepresentation or omission would be relied on by a mortgage lender, a borrower or any other person or entity involved in the mortgage lending process;

  4. received any proceeds or other funds in connection with the mortgage lending process that you knew resulted from the use of any material misstatement, misrepresentation or omission during the mortgage lending process that was made with the intent that it would be relied on by a mortgage lender, a borrower or any other person or entity] involved in the mortgage lending process;

  5. filed or caused to be filed with the clerk of the circuit court for any Florida county a document involved in the mortgage lending process which contained a material misstatement, misrepresentation or omission.

Documents involved in the mortgage lending process include, but are not limited to, mortgages, deeds, surveys, inspection reports, uniform residential loan applications, or other loan applications; appraisal reports; HUD-1 settlement statements; supporting personal documentation for loan applications such as W-2 forms, verifications of income and employment, credit reports, bank statements, tax returns, and payroll stubs; and any required disclosures.


“Mortgage lending process” means the process through which a person seeks or obtains a residential mortgage loan, including, but not limited to, the solicitation, application or origination, negotiation of terms, third-party provider services, underwriting, signing and closing, and funding of the loan.


“Knowingly” means that the defendant is aware of the act and is not acting through ignorance, mistake or accident.


“Material” means a fact a reasonable person would use to decide whether to do or not to do something.  A fact is material if it has the capacity or natural tendency to influence a person’s decision.  Any misrepresentation or concealment must be reasonably calculated to deceive persons of ordinary prudence and comprehension.

 

FORGERY

Fla. Stat. 831.01

To prove the crime of Forgery, the State must prove the following two elements beyond a reasonable doubt:


1. You falsely made, altered, forged, or counterfeited a document.


2. You intended to injure or defraud some person or firm.


 

WORTHLESS CHECK

§ 832.05(2), Fla.Stat.

To prove the crime, the State must prove the following six or seven elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

1. You drew, made, uttered, issued, or delivered the check.


2. When you did so, there was not sufficient money on deposit in the bank to pay the check.

3. You knew when you wrote the check that you did not have sufficient money on deposit with the bank.

4. You knew you had no arrangement or understanding with the bank for the payment of the check when it was presented.

5. The check was in the amount of $150 or more.

When payee exchanges for value.

a.   A person or business, to whom the check was payable, transferred it in exchange for goods or money.

Or when a subsequent holder exchanges for value.

b.   The holder transferred the check to another in exchange for goods or money.

If it was not exchanged for money.

7. The goods had some monetary value.

 

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4767 New Broad St
Orlando, FL 32814

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