Many State Attorney Offices have a fraud or economic crimes division. This is because these cases can be very complex and require a strong understanding of what is necessary to establish the crime. For the same reasons, it is important you have a criminal defense attorney that is familiar with these laws and the potential defenses that are unique to these types of cases.
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 or even tens of 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. Lots of attorneys handle fraud cases but not all attorneys handle them well. You don’t want to hire an attorney that gets in over his head, so contact the Ford Law Office to learn more about your defenses and what’s worked in the past.
There are numerous different types of fraud charges that a person could be charged with. Some of the common charges are Scheme to Defraud, Making False Statements, and insurance, mortgage, or credit card fraud.
Florida Statute 817.034
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.
"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.