The crime of fraud is a very general and broad category of crimes, but the penalties and consequences of committing fraud in Texas can be very serious. Many fraud charges can lead to a conviction, arrest and a lengthy and difficult trial for you and your attorney. Texas courts take fraud seriously because there are so many different ways to commit it, and so the stricter the courts and law enforcement can be, the less they hope people will try to get away with it.
What Exactly Is Fraud?
Criminal fraud can be defined as a purposeful attempt to deceive someone for personal and/or financial gain. This false or misleading action can result in stealing money, personal property, information, or services.
What Are Three Common Types of Fraud in Texas?
- Identity theft. This type of fraud is extremely common both in Texas and in the rest of the country. Section 32.51 of the Texas Penal Code defines identity theft as a criminal offense, and it includes the taking of identifying information in order to obtain money or personal information. A conviction for identity theft can result in up to two years in state jail, a heavy fine, and probation and/or community service.
- Bank fraud. Bank and credit fraud are also common for Texas businesses and residents. This type of fraud usually involves some type of false action at a bank where fake information or documentation is given. This can also be done through postal mail where a criminal will fool other people into giving money to a charity or other organization. Credit card fraud includes purposefully giving wrong information in order to obtain a credit card with no intention of paying off the expenses.
- Healthcare fraud. This fraud occurs when a Texas resident answers questions on healthcare applications that are inaccurate or gives falsified records in order to gain insurance benefits or healthcare. This type of fraud usually involves identity theft as well, such as taking someone else’s Social Security information. When people die but are not yet reported in death records, criminals can use this time to take the deceased individual’s healthcare and other benefits.
If you have been accused of fraud in Texas, you should first contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to stand by your side in criminal court. Contact the Goolsby Law Firm today for your free consultation.