Fraud

A fraud charge in Virginia has long-lasting effects on your life. Beyond the criminal and financial ramifications, having a fraud charge on your record can cause others to perceive you as dishonest, even if the fraud charge originated from a simple misunderstanding or a non-criminal breach of contract. A person charged with fraud may also face civil lawsuits as a result of the same incident.

Hiring an aggressive fraud attorney with courtroom experience is essential to protect your future. The attorneys at S.L. England, PLLC, have the courtroom experience in District, Circuit, and Federal Courts to present the strongest case for you, whether you are facing criminal fraud charges or a civil lawsuit.

CRIMINAL FRAUD IN VIRGINIA

Fraud is a broad crime. Virginia has ten different classifications under its fraud statute. These include:

  • Forgery
  • Impersonation
  • False Pretenses
  • Bad Check
  • False Representations to Obtain Property or Credit
  • Electronic Communications Devices
  • False Representations to Obtain Property or Credit
  • Credit Cards
  • Miscellaneous False and Fraudulent Acts
  • Sales
  • Money Laundering
  • Cigarettes

Regardless of the type of fraud, Virginia law is very specific about what constitutes actionable fraud rather than dishonesty. Fraud requires the defendant to intentionally and knowingly make a false representation with the intent to mislead the other party, and the other party must suffer damages.

FRAUD PENALTIES

The criminal penalties for fraud depend on the nature of the specific crime. Some fraud crimes are misdemeanors while others are felonies. Class 1 misdemeanors, such as Impersonating a Law Enforcement Officer, are punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine. Class 4 felonies, such as Obtaining Money or Signature by False Pretenses, are punishable by two to ten years in prison and fines up to $100,000. Money laundering carries a penalty of up to 40 years in prison and fines up to $500,000.

Fraud cases that extend beyond Virginia’s borders, or that involve a federally-insured bank or a federal agency are charged and prosecuted in Federal Court.

CIVIL FRAUD IN VIRGINIA

Fraud can also have civil penalties associated with it. If someone believes that you knowingly misled them and they suffer damages as a result, you can be sued in civil court. A person does not have to speak or write a false statement to be sued for fraud because the plaintiff may claim that by remaining silent and not providing important information, the defendant committed “fraud by omission.”A broken promise or a breach of contract are not acts of fraud, and an aggressive attorney with courtroom experience can prove that the accusation against you does not meet the standard of fraud.

DO YOU NEED A FRAUD ATTORNEY IN VIRGINIA?

If you are facing criminal fraud charges, or if you have been served with a civil fraud lawsuit, you need an aggressive attorney to fight for you. Criminal fraud charges can carry long prison sentences and hefty fines, depending on the specific charge, and this can affect your family’s future. A judgment against you in a civil lawsuit can devastate your finances. If you have been charged with a fraud crime or if you have been served with civil papers, call us today at (202) 489-0720 or contact us online.

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