Texas Fraud Defense Lawyer Assists Clients Accused of Misrepresentation
Kerrville attorney fights federal and state charges of theft by deception
An accusation of fraud is injurious to your reputation and exposes you to civil and criminal liability. Depending on the circumstances, you might even face federal charges, investigation by the FBI and prosecution by a U.S. Attorney. Given the gravity of this situation, you need to retain the best Texas fraud defense lawyer you can find. The Law Firm of Richard L. Ellison, P.C. in Kerrville has the knowledge and experience to put forth a robust defense that challenges whether the requisite elements exist in the case against you.
Types of fraud charges in Texas
Fraud is theft by deception and specific charges are classified according to the particular type of alleged misrepresentation, as well as the purported victim. For example, mail, wire and Internet fraud involve the use of various forms of communication to perpetrate a falsehood for one’s own benefit. Allegations of fraud often involve allegedly untrue statements to one of the following:
- Banks — Financial institutions often make claims of credit card and mortgage fraud.
- Government — State and federal charges are frequently brought alleging misconduct relating to taxes, Medicare and Medicaid.
- Consumers — Identity theft and the sale of defective or non-existent goods are common forms of consumer fraud.
- Creditors — Bankruptcy fraud is an illegal attempt to evade responsibility for debts.
- Investors — Securities fraud robs shareholders of the value of their investment.
- Insurance companies — People who bring claims involving car accidents, casualty and property losses and healthcare benefits are sometimes accused to trying to obtain unwarranted payments.
Whatever your particular case entails, I will protect your fundamental rights and work help you avoid unjust punishment.
Elements to prove fraud
If you are charged with fraud, the basic elements of the crime a prosecutor must prove are:
- Representation of a material fact — The defendant made a relevant statement of fact.
- Falsity — The statement was false.
- Knowledge — The defendant knew or should have known the statement was false.
- Intent — The defendant made the statement to induce the victim to provide something of value.
- Reliance — The victim gave something of value based on their belief that the false statement was true.
- Injury — The victim suffered losses as a result of the exchange.
My firm thoroughly reviews the pertinent facts to show that one or more of these elements is not present in your case.
Texas law on fraudulent activities
Since fraud is a theft crime, penalties are based on the value of the property taken, as follows:
- Less than $100 — The offense is a Class C Misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500.
- $100 or more but less than $750 — This is a Class B Misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.
- $750 or more but less than $2,500 — This Class A Misdemeanor is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000.
- $2.500 or more but less than $30,000 — This is a State Jail Felony, punishable by 180 days to two years behind bars and a fine of up to $10,000.
- $30,000 or more but less than $150,000 — This Third-Degree Felony is punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
- $150,000 or more but less than $300,000 — This Second-Degree Felony is punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
- More than $300,000 — This First-Degree Felony is punishable by five to 99 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Fraud committed against certain victims, such as the elderly or disabled, can trigger an enhanced sentence. A court can also order someone convicted of frauds to pay restitution to victims.