Criminal fraud in Virginia generally involves willful deception, false statements, or misleading others to get money, property, or access. An example of fraud could include changing the amount on a check, using a stolen credit card, or filing for workers' comp for an injury that did not occur on the job.
If you are being investigated or have been arrested on suspicion of fraud in Virginia, contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer to help fight back against a criminal conviction.
Types of Fraud in Virginia
Virginia Code § 18.2, Chapter 6, refers to various crimes involving fraud. Types of criminal fraud in Virginia include the following.
- Insurance fraud
- Workers' comp fraud
- Credit card fraud
- Healthcare fraud
- Real estate fraud
- Bad checks
- Money laundering
- Impersonating a police officer
- Identity theft
- False pretenses
White Collar Crimes Involving Fraud
Some types of fraud are referred to as white collar crimes. White collar crimes generally refer to financial crimes that involve taking money or property from a business through the individual's professional position. This could involve an employee misusing a company credit card, an accountant altering records to divert money to a private account, or misleading investors.
Penalties for Fraud in Virginia
The penalties for a fraud conviction depend on numerous factors such as the specific criminal charge, the extent of the fraud, and the defendant's criminal record. Fraud can be punishable as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the offense.
As a misdemeanor, the maximum penalty for a fraud conviction includes up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. A felony conviction can include up to 10 years or more in prison.
In addition to fines and jail time, the court may order the defendant to pay restitution to the victim.
Value of Fraud Involved
Some types of fraud, like credit card fraud or check fraud, may be punishable as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the value of fraud involved. Generally, fraud involving a value of less than $500, including all money, goods, services, or things of value, is a Class 1 misdemeanor. Fraud involving a value of $500 or more may be punishable as a Class 6 felony.
Multiple Fraud Offenses
The penalties for fraud may also depend on the accused's criminal record. For example, impersonating a police officer or public safety officer can be a Class 1 misdemeanor. However, a second or subsequent offense is punishable as a Class 6 felony. Furthermore, in virtually every felony criminal case, sentencing guidelines will be computed, which substantially factor a person's criminal record.
Fraud Against the Government
Fraud penalties may also depend on the alleged victim of the crime. Forging public records or forging bank notes is a Class 4 felony, which includes possible imprisonment for 2 to 10 years and a fine of up to $100,000.
Charlottesville Fraud Defense Lawyer
Some people do not consider minor fraud to be a serious crime, especially when large insurance companies, credit card companies, or banks absorb the cost. However, prosecutors in Virginia take any fraud seriously and can impose serious penalties, including years in prison and heavy fines. If you have been accused of fraud or other white collar crimes in Charlottesville, contact me today.