Fraud is an act of deception, either through concealing or misrepresenting the truth or through outright complete fabrication of facts. In acts of criminal fraud, the concealment, misrepresentation, or fabrication is typically intended for personal financial gain or the receipt of benefits to which one is not otherwise entitled.
There are virtually countless acts of fraud for which a person may be criminally charged, and both state and federal laws prohibiting and penalizing each type. Many acts of fraud are felonies, and without adequate criminal defense representation, a defendant charged with fraud may be facing years behind bars, heavy fines, and restitution to the victim. Felony conviction can also impact voting rights, gun ownership, public assistance, and professional opportunities.
If you are accused of fraud or believe you may be under investigation, call at once for legal counsel and defense representation.
While criminal fraud can be committed through blatant, outright lies, it is often through smaller, much more innocuous acts of concealment that fraud is committed. Because of this, a person may be charged with fraud as a result of a mistake, a misunderstanding, or a simple lie of omission that seemed relatively harmless at the time.
There are many different types of fraud. Some acts of fraud may fall under more than one statute, and the state of Oklahoma or the federal government may choose the easiest charge to prosecute when determining charges to be filed.
Common fraud cases include the following:
Fraud may be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the specific offense with which a person is charged. To understand the allegations against you and any penalties associated with the charge, call Coventon Criminal Defense for a free case review.
The terms fraud, defraud, and fraudulent occur at least 37 times in the table of contents of the Oklahoma criminal code. This means that there are dozens of ways a fraud case may be prosecuted and penalized in Oklahoma—and that does not even take into consideration the federal fraud crimes prosecuted by U.S. Attorneys.
The state does have a general fraud statute, found in 21 O.S. § 1541.1 – Obtaining Property by Trick or Deception:
Every person who, with intent to cheat and defraud, shall obtain or attempt to obtain from any person, firm or corporation any money, property or valuable thing, of a value less than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), by means or by use of any trick or deception, or false or fraudulent representation or statement or pretense, or by any other means or instruments or device commonly called the "confidence game", or by means or use of any false or bogus checks, or by any other written or printed or engraved instrument or spurious coin, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine not to exceed One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00), or by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one (1) year, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
The next section stipulates that if the value of the property involved is at least $500, but less than $1,000, the crime is a felony punishable by a fine of $5,000, restitution, and up to one year in jail.
If the value of property involved in the fraud is $1,000 or greater, fraud is a felony punishable by a maximum of 10 years in prison.
To speak confidentially with an Oklahoma criminal lawyer about your fraud case, call Coventon Criminal Defense at (405) 417-3842, or submit the free case review form linked in the header of this page.