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It is general human nature to feel as though others are potentially taking advantage of one’s good faith, and this concern has been furthered by the never-ending stream of technological advances and avenues for abuse. While this is often an unfounded belief, the unfortunate reality is that there will always be individuals who deceptively take advantage of their fellow man. Often times there is no amount of due-diligence one can perform to protect his or her interests from fraudulent activity. That is why it necessary to employ an experienced fraud defense attorney in these types of situations.
Fraud is generally defined as some deceitful practice or willful device, resorted to with the intent to deprive another of his right, or in some manner to do him an injury. As such, fraud does not have to be in relation to some attempted monetary gain.
Fraud includes any act or omission that is intended to deceive another party in order to influence him or her. In addition, the influenced party must have reasonably relied on the fraud to his or her own detriment.
Fraud may consist of:
The penalties for fraud in Oklahoma generally relate to the amount of money or property that is procured as a result of the fraudulent activity. Usually, if a Defendant is convicted of defrauding the victim of $500.00 or less, he or she will only receive a misdemeanor conviction and face up to one year in jail. Usually, if the amount is greater than $1,000.00, the conviction most likely will be a felony (depending on the specific crime committed), and the defendant could face multiple years in prison, not to mention felony conviction consequences. Often times a condition of conviction of fraud will be that the Defendant must pay restitution to the victim.
Fraud crimes most often occur when an individual obtains some benefit as a result of their untruthfulness. In reviewing the definition of fraud listed above, it is easy to imagine all of the various ways a person can be "untruthful" under Oklahoma law.
When a person obtains property, goods, services, or anything else of value (including money) from another through the use of deceit or fraud, they are opening themselves to criminal liability.
The liability will depend mostly on the fraudulent activity and the amount the person was able to gain through the fraudulent representation or pretense. This also encompasses those situations in which someone employs a "confidence game" or "con game."
If the value of the money, property, or other thing of value received as a result of the fraud is under $1000, the charge will most likely be a misdemeanor offense.
However, if the amount is $1,000.00 or more, but less than $2,500.00, the charge will likely be a felony, and the punishment could be up to two (2) years in prison. If the amount is $2,500.00 or more but less than $15,000.00, the potential prison sentence is up to five (5) years. If the amount is $15,000.00 or more, the perpetrator could face up to eight (8) years in prison.
False or bogus checks, also commonly referred to as "hot" checks, are extremely common. Unlike many other forms of monetary fraud, bogus checks are not always intentional. Many people end up with a bogus check charge in Oklahoma not because they are trying to get something when they don't have the money, but more so because they are not being responsible enough with their finances.
Regardless, even a mistake on your part or a check hitting your account later than expected will not completely right the wrong. Simply being the victim of circumstance or not keeping a close enough eye on your bank account won't get you off the hook.
However, an isolated incident is often excusable. In fact, the Oklahoma laws on hot checks refer to "two or more false or bogus checks." If it is a single occasion, it is much easier to argue the incident was a mistake.
Still, if a person utters two or more bogus checks that together equal $500.00 or more, but less than $1,000.00, that person will face a misdemeanor charge and up to one (1) year in the county jail.
If the total value of two or more bogus checks is $2,000.00 or more but less than $2,500.00, the person will face felony charges and up to two (2) years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.00.
Similar to other fraud crimes, if the total value of all the hot checks equals $2,500.00 or more but less than $15,000.00, the potential penalty is up to five (5) years in prison and a $5,000.00 fine. Bogus checks in the amount of more than $15,000.00 will result in a potential punishment of up to eight (8) years in prison and a $5,000.00 fine as well.
Another aspect of fraud is the personal aspect. It often occurs when a person is impersonating another. When someone assumes the identity or character of another person, they then become criminally liable for that activity.
The Oklahoma Statutes list various ways in which someone could falsely assume the identity of another. Regardless, the general gist is simple: if you assume the identity of another person and commit any act, whereby if it were done by the person who is falsely personated would result in any sort of commitment, liability, or penalty, you will face felony prosecution.
As with many other instances of fraud described here, there is often a financial component. If a person falsely impersonates another and receives any money or property as a result, with the intent to claim the same as their own, they will face punishment ranges similar to those outlined above and based on the specific value of the money or property received.
Moreover, those charged with the crime of false personation of another in Oklahoma can, in some instances, face a penalty of up to ten years in prison.
It is possible to face "fraud" charges in relation to Oklahoma's CDS laws as well. In situations where an individual tries to use either a fake or forged prescription to obtain drugs from a pharmacy, he or she can be charged with a drug crime with very serious penalties and repercussions. This problem is becoming more and more prevalent in the midst of Oklahoma's prescription pill epidemic.
If you or a loved one has been charged with fraud in Oklahoma, time is of the essence. You need an experienced Oklahoma criminal defense attorney, and you need one right now. Call the Law Offices of Adam R. Banner, P.C., and retain an accomplished criminal defense attorney ready to fight for your rights. Call us today at (405) 778-4800 or visit our home page for a free consultation.