If I Was Just Arrested and Charged With Fraud, What Will Happen to Me Over the Next Few Days and Months?
Once criminal charges are filed, the prosecution will come after you seeking punishment, including a conviction, jail or custody time, and restitution. If you’ve been arrested, you should consult with an experienced attorney immediately.
What Should Be Considered When Deciding With My Attorney Whether or Not I Should Work With Authorities?
Deciding whether to cooperate with authorities requires consultation with an experienced attorney. Your attorney will need to assess your level of criminal liability, where you fall on the criminal hierarchy, as well as how much the prosecution knows about your criminal activity and what admissible evidence they have against you. Additionally, your attorney will need to attempt to gauge what value you may have to the prosecution and whether immunity can be granted to you.
My Employer Is Asking Me to Talk to Them First About My Involvement in a Fraud Investigation. I May Have Information for Authorities About the Company. Should I Talk to the Police and Tell Them That I’m Being Pressured by My Employer?
You should consult with an experienced attorney first. Your attorney will need to assess your value to all parties involved, including the prosecution, law enforcement, and your employer. In a situation like this, you cannot and should not trust anyone but your attorney.
If I Know I’m Guilty of at Least Some Involvement in a Fraud Case, Will I Be Given Any Leniency for Turning Myself In?
You should consult with an experienced attorney before you consider turning yourself in. An experienced attorney can assess how to best protect your interests while also leveraging whatever value you may have for the prosecution. In any event, do not just turn yourself in and hope the prosecution will provide you some benefit or leniency; without an experienced attorney, you very likely will not receive anything from the prosecution. With an attorney representing you, however, your treatment by the prosecution and law enforcement will be vastly different.
What Elements Are Required of the State or the Prosecutor to Prove Fraud Charges in California?
There are many types of fraud under California law, but the similar elements amongst those various offenses include a misrepresentation with the intent to deceive another and to cause a loss of another’s money, property, goods, or services with the intent to cause damage to a legal, financial, or property right.
What Possible Defenses Could Be Used to Defend Someone Who Has Been Charged With Fraud?
There are many possible defenses, including: the statute of limitations may have expired; there may problems in proving the identity of the suspect or suspects; and the accused(s) may not have the specified required intent as required by the criminal statute. Further, there may be defenses associated with the accused acting in some manner under duress or necessity. Also, the accused may have made certain recognized factual or legal mistakes that can absolve them of criminal liability. These are a few examples.
What Are the Penalties for a Felony Fraud Conviction in California?
The typical felony in California carries up to 16 months, two or three years in state prison, if probation is not granted. Furthermore, there’s an enhancement pursuant to California Penal Code Section 186.11, which can attach to that base fraud felony. Additional time can be attached relating to the amount of monetary loss that’s proven. If the loss amount exceeds $65,000, one is looking at an additional consecutive one year being imposed; if the loss amount exceeds $200,000, one is looking at an additional consecutive two years being imposed; and if the loss amount is $500,000, one is looking at an additional consecutive two, three, or even five years being imposed.
Are There Potential Financial Penalties Involved in Sentencing for a Fraud Conviction in California?
There are a few financial penalties involved in fraud sentencing. If convicted, restitution will be ordered by the court to be paid back, as required by the California Constitution. The restitution order will be a condition of probation, assuming probation is granted, and can also be enforced as a civil judgment. Once the criminal court orders restitution, such amount accrues at 10% annually, on top of a 15% collection fee, which is assessed immediately upon being ordered.
Additionally, the prosecution can file a parallel criminal forfeiture proceeding that can freeze and cease the criminal defendant’s assets, including real property, bank accounts, vehicles, boats, etc. Such property does not have to be related to the alleged criminal conduct. And to make things worse, there’s a hefty fine provision, as well, if you trigger the aggravated white-collar provision in Penal Code Section 186.11(c), meaning the court can fine the defendant up to $500,000 or double the loss, whichever is greater; or if the loss amount is between $100,000 and $500,000, the court can fine the defendant up to $100,000 or double the loss, whichever is greater.
For more information on Fraud Cases in California, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (415) 484-0906 today.