What is Fraud?

Fraud costs victims billions of dollars every year.

Under Georgia law, fraud is basically a misrepresentation of a material fact that is made with the intent to obtain an unlawful financial gain. Prosecutors must prove all the elements of this offense, and any other offense, beyond a reasonable doubt. That’s the highest burden of proof in U.S. law.

Because of this high burden of proof, a lack of evidence is usually the most effective defense against fraud or other criminal charges. “Guilty” in a criminal court doesn’t mean morally guilty. Instead, guilty basically means “proved.” So, a Norcross criminal defense lawyer frequently represents fraud and other defendants who are morally guilty, but they are not legally guilty because there is not enough evidence to prove guilt.

Types of Fraud

The Georgia fraud law is very broad. This law could apply to a number of situations, including:

Fraud is usually a felony, although in some cases, it could be a misdemeanor. Either way, fraud is a crime of moral turpitude. CMTs have wide-ranging consequences in employment relationships, civil court, and other areas of life.

Frequency of Fraud

False statements on official documents are quite common. But as mentioned, not all these statements are fraudulent. Therefore, fraud prosecutions are somewhat rare.

Typically, prosecutors use conduct to prove intent. State tax fraud is a good example. Many taxpayers always give themselves the benefit of the doubt when they claim deductions. These claims might be illegal, but they usually are not fraudulent. On the other hand, if the taxpayer does something like omit a large income source or move money into a shell company, there is clear evidence of fraudulent intent.

Furthermore, prosecutors often don’t aggressively pursue fraud cases. In fact, if the defendant makes restitution and jumps through a few other hoops, prosecutors often drop the matter.

At-Risk Victims

Anyone could be a fraud victim. Older adults and large companies are usually the most frequent fraud victims in Gwinnett County.

Older adults are often trusting and don’t always read the fine print. So, many people try to take advantage of older people. One common fraud is nursing homes that file fake guardianship papers to obtain control over resident finances.

Some fraudsters almost consider fraud against a large company a “victimless” crime. They reason that the company can well afford the loss. But fraud is fraud, and the law protects everyone. This protection also applies to defendants who are accused of crimes.

Count on a Hard-Hitting Gwinnett County Fraud Defense Lawyer

Fraud charges don’t always hold up in court. For a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Norcross, contact Zimmerman & Associates, Attorneys at Law.