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Charged with Fraud? Here’s what you can do.

Lying, making false claims, omitting the truth, or making false promises in order to gain a benefit are the basic tenets of a Fraud Schemes charge in Arizona. Fraud Schemes charges are serious.

ARS 13-2310 defines Fraud schemes and artifices as:

“Any person who, pursuant to a scheme or artifice to defraud, knowingly obtains any benefit by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, promises or material omissions” is guilty of violating this statute.

In other words, three things need to be established by the prosecution in order for somebody to be convicted of this offense. First, they need to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the person accused benefited from the fraud. Second, the benefit was obtained through false pretenses, promises, omissions, etc. Third, this was all part of a scheme or artifice to defraud.

Being convicted of a fraud schemes offense can have huge repercussions on someone’s life, business, and family. Jack Litwak can help you. Jack has worked on some of the most challenging and high-stakes cases a criminal defense lawyer can see. The Litwak Law Group is based in Phoenix and works throughout Arizona, including Maricopa, Pinal, Pima, Yavapai, Yuma, and Mohave Counties. Call us today at (845) 558-1448 to set up a consultation.

Penalties for a Fraud Schemes Conviction

ARS 13-2310 classifies being guilty of this offense as a Class 2 Felony. What does this mean? That depends on a few things. Arizona courts look at two factors specifically when handing down a sentence. One of the things that they are looking at is the benefit amount received by the defendant. The other thing is the criminal history of the person charged. 

Any Fraud Scheme, where the amount defrauded was over $100,000, even if it was a first-time offense, is by statute prohibited from receiving probation. This means that a person will face prison time of anywhere between 3 and 12.5 years. 

If the benefit did not reach this amount then the criminal history of a defendant is taken into consideration. A first-time offense for example can mean probation and a year of jail or prison time. 

If a person has an allegeable historical prior conviction then the prison time jumps up to anywhere between 4.5 years to 25 years. Two priors and the minimum time goes to 10.5 years.

Possible defense to fraud. What your lawyer can do for you.

All cases are different, these possible defenses are just examples and should not be taken as legal advice. 

First, a criminal defense attorney can look at the procedural aspects of the police’s investigation. Were your rights violated while they investigated or charged you? Any evidence obtained through unlawful or unconstitutional manners can be dropped. There can also be issues regarding your Miranda Rights and what information you did or did not give investigators. If your attorney is able to have unduly obtained evidence dismissed from the case that can go a long way to having you be acquitted. 

The language of the law makes it clear that the defendant had to have created a scheme or artifice knowingly and with the intent to defraud. Without this state of mind being proven beyond a reasonable doubt by the prosecution, they cannot convict. If the benefit received by the defendant was done so through a mutual consent then there was no fraud scheme for example. 

An accusation, charge, or investigation is not a conviction or a sign of guilt. You have rights and you need to defend them. A criminal defense attorney can help you make sure of this. Even with accusations of fraud you have legal avenues and strategies.