Defense Against Fraud & Forgery
Fraud crimes, like forgery, are non-violent in nature, yet can still result in serious punishments. Consequences of a fraud conviction range from paying thousands of dollars in penalties to being locked behind bars in a federal penitentiary. Indictments like these can significantly jeopardize your professional and personal relationships, prohibit you from holding certain kinds of employment, and cause difficulty in procuring loans or housing.
What Constitutes Forgery?
According to state law in Texas, a person commits forgery any time they “forge” a document with the intent to harm or defraud another person. Forge is in quotation marks here because it can mean a few specific things legally under Texas Penal Code § 32.21:
- The altering, making, completing, etc. of any piece of writing in order to purport it the work of another who did not authorize such actions. This includes things like fake copies of a non-existent original, or falsified information such as the time, place, numbered sequence, or facts of the case.
- The issuance, registering, transferring, passing, publishing, etc. of a writing forged as defined in #1.
- The possession of a forged writing as stipulated above with the intent as stipulated above.
Keep in mind that “writing” in the legal sense includes all kinds of recorded information including trademarks, symbols, privileges, tokens, seals, money, etc.
What Constitutes Fraud?
Legally, Fraud refers to a criminal charge where the offender uses some kind of trickery to gain access to another person’s money or property. Though they are typically misdemeanors, most criminal fraud cases are conducted at the federal court level and cost companies hundreds of millions of dollars.
Under Texas law, these crimes involve the following charges and many others:
- Identity Theft
- Bankruptcy fraud
- Credit fraud
- Credit card fraud
- Investment fraud
- Securities fraud
- Bank fraud
- Insurance fraud
- Fruadulent billing claims
- Check Forgery
Common Types of Fraud Prosecuted in Texas
Credit Card Fraud involves the unauthorized use of a credit card that belongs to a third party. This includes the use of expired and cancelled cards as well as credit information obtained through electronic means without the permission of the person to whom the card belongs. It is also considered fraud to accept payment from credit or debit cards you know to be stolen. What’s more, you can be charged with fraud for merely possessing a card with the intent to use it, meaning you can be charged even if you do not use the card.
Identity Theft involves the possession, obtaining, and/or use of the personal information of another individual. This information would include things like their address, date of birth, social security number, etc. obtained for the purposes of committing fraud. This includes the information of both the deceased and children under the age of eighteen. What’s more, in the state of Texas, simply having the information about three or more individual constitutes the intent to commit fraud in the eyes of the law.
Credit Fraud in Texas involves any kind of lying on an application for goods, credit, property, or a loan. This includes using a fake or stolen social security number, address, or name. It also includes misrepresenting your financial obligations, income, or ability to pay in order to secure approval.
Fighting Fraud & Forgery Chages in Denton
Forgery is a very common white collar fraud crime and ranges from forged signatures on checks or credit cars to distributing fake bills. Whether you’ve been charged with forgery or any number of other fraud crimes, Denton County defense attorney, Paige McCormick, knows how to dispute the evidence and contest the prosecution’s case against you. If you feel you are being investigated for fraud, even if no formal accusation has been made, contact an attorney immediately. The earlier you involve expert legal assistance, the better your chances will be for a successful outcome.
Contact Paige McCormick today for a free consultation. The office of Paige McCormick serves clients throughout Texas, specifically in Denton, Cooke, & Wise Counties.