Fort Lauderdale Fraud Lawyer
There are 25.6 million reasons why the government is cracking down on federal fraud
An FTC (Federal Trade Commission) survey released in April 2013 revealed that 25.6 million Americans were the victims of fraud in 2011. That’s nearly 11 percent of the nation’s adults. – These are people who are old enough to vote and who have the ears of their congressional representatives. And the Department of Justice has reacted to public and political pressure by stepping up investigations and prosecutions of alleged offenders. Contact our Fort Lauderdale fraud lawyers for more information.
Defending against federal crimes is complicated, but not impossible. At Kevin J. Kulik, P.A. in Fort Lauderdale, we take a methodical yet creative approach to defending clients charged with federal fraud. Lawyers like Kevin Kulik know that evidence in these cases can be challenged. The government must prove that you knew you were committing fraud and not acting in good faith, however mistaken you may have been. Our nearly 30 years of experience in working for clients throughout South Florida have shown that we can take on the feds and win.
What is fraud, and how many types of fraud are there?
According to the FBI, fraud is a type of white collar crime defined as “the intentional perversion of the truth for the purpose of inducing another person or other entity in reliance upon it to part with something of value or to surrender a legal right,” including “fraudulent conversion and obtaining of money or property by false pretenses.”
Fraud in the United States dates back to the colonial era, when “snake oil” cures were among the first documented ploys by the Pilgrims, and land swindles were common. Today, technology has made fraud more sophisticated and more widespread and has increased the types of fraud that are perpetrated.
Criminal defense attorneys can provide strategies for the many types of fraud prosecuted at the federal (and sometimes state) level:
- Bankruptcy fraud — Concealing assets or filing multiple claims to get debt relief or perpetrating a “bustout” or petition mill scheme are forms of bankruptcy fraud and violations of federal law.
- Healthcare fraud — Schemes include double-billing or submitting duplicate claims and falsifying a condition to obtain and then illegally sell pharmaceuticals. There are laws specific to Medicaid and Medicare fraud, which, if the fraud leads to someone’s death, can be penalized by life in prison.
- Insurance fraud — Knowingly deceiving an insurance company for money to which you are not entitled can be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the extent and type of fraud committed. Insurance fraud that affects interstate commerce is a federal crime.
- Credit card fraud — If you use a credit card with no intention of paying for what you purchased, you may be found guilty of credit card fraud. This includes obtaining or using a credit card through identity theft and using stolen credit cards.
- Corporate fraud — Deceptive practices include the overstatement of earnings and the concealment of debt to increase stock values and providing secret loans and unapproved bonuses to executives. Fines can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and jail or prison time is not uncommon.
The government also vigorously prosecutes those who commit mortgage fraud and unemployment fraud, among other financial crimes.
You can expect steep fines and incarceration for convictions of mail fraud, tax fraud and securities fraud
The government comes down hard on mail fraud, which is the willful act of attempting to obtain money or property through deception using the U.S. mail, by wire or even by private mail services, such as FedEx and UPS. Tax fraud, whether by underreporting income, inflating expenses or deliberately failing to file a federal tax return, is vigorously pursued by the IRS. Much in the news lately, securities fraud is addressed under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and can include anything from questionable timing of stock options and investor misrepresentation to promises of exaggerated returns and insider trading.
These types of fraud are highly scrutinized by the FBI, the IRS Criminal Investigation unit, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement. Let our Fort Lauderdale fraud defense attorneys assist with your case.
Penalties for these types of crimes can include fines of $250,000 per violation plus restitution to victims. Depending on the offense and prior criminal records, if any, you may be facing up to 30 years in prison.
Federal fraud charges require an aggressive defense
As a highly rated attorney with nearly 30 years of experience in federal criminal defense and fraud, Kevin Kulik brings courtroom skills and a passion for justice to your case. To schedule a confidential, free consultation to discuss your situation with Kevin J. Kulik, P.A., please contact our Fort Lauderdale office at 954-761-9411 or contact us online.