Fraud in San Diego
In San Diego fraud includes a wide range of crimes within the California Penal Code; consisting of actions that resulted in an unfair benefit for the defendant and/ or harmed another person or caused them a loss. Fraud is any misrepresentation of fact by either words or conduct, that induces another person to act in a way that is injurious to them. Generally speaking, a person commits fraud by committing an act that results in an unfair or undeserved financial gain and/or causes harm or loss to another person.
The suggestion of something as a true fact, which is known to be untrue;
- Positive assertion of a known untrue fact making a person believe its true;
- The suppression of a true fact;
- A promise made without any intention of performing it;
- Any other act to deceive.
- Any breach of duty without intent to fraud, but still gains an advantage to the other person;
- Any act or omission that the law specially declares to be fraudulent, without respect to actual fraud.
Most Fraud Offenses Require Specific Intent
Specific intent is the intent to both, commit an act and to cause a particular result. For specific intent crimes, the prosecution needs to prove that the defendant intentionally committed an act and intended to cause a particular result when committing that act. The prosecution will aim to prove specific intent with the circumstantial evidence in your case.
Fraudulent acts are primarily driven by two motives:
- Desire to escape criminal culpability.
Fraudulent intent will be inferred from evidence that the defendant attempted to conceal activity.
Example: Defendant's misrepresentations.
- Financial advantage.
Fraudulent intent will be inferred from whether the defendant profited or had something to gain from the activity.
Example: Defendant converted money to his or her own use.
Fraud Offenses May Also Be Federal Crimes
Fraud offenses in San Diego are also federal crimes which means that someone could be prosecuted for a fraud offense in state court as well as in a federal court. This could subject someone to increased penalties. The government in San Diego may seize any money or other property that was involved in the fraudulent activity through a process authorized by law.
White Collar Crimes That Involve Fraud or Dishonesty to Obtain Unlawful Gain.
Fraud is the use deception to obtain financial advantage. Fraud may be achieved by actions or words. There are two separate statutes in California that deal with check fraud.
California PC 476 makes it illegal to write, make, pass, or possess a check that has been altered, forged or is a fake, in an attempt to obtain money, services, or property with intending to commit a fraud.
California PC 470 makes it illegal to knowingly forge or alter another person’s name, handwriting or signature and present it as genuine for personal gain with fraudulent intent. Both of these offenses
Grand Theft Fraud
Theft is the taking of another person’s property with intent to permanently deprive. Theft may be achieved by larceny, false pretense, trick or embezzlement.
Ultimately, the value of the property stolen is the determining factor that decides how a person is charge. California PC 487 makes it grand theft to illegally take property valued at $950 or more.
An insurance claim does not need to be paid out to be charged with fraud.
California PC 550(a)(1) makes it illegal to knowingly present a false insurance claim to obtain unlawful gain.
California PC 550(b)(1) makes it illegal to make any false statement of material fact in an insurance claim.
Generally, computer crimes are any offense that involve cyber fraud.
California PC 502 makes it illegal to knowingly access and without permission alter, damage, delete, destroy, or otherwise use data, network or computer system with the intent to defraud, deceive or extort another.
A threat is putting another person in fear thru the use of force. Threats may be achieved verbally, physically, or electronically.
California PC 518 makes it illegal to use force or threats to blackmail another person in order to obtain financial advantage.
Dirty money is any money earned illegally. Money laundering is the offense of channeling the dirty money back into the economy thru a legitimate use, in order to prevent tracing the criminal source of the money. There are two separate statutes in California that deal with money laundering.
California Health and Safety Code section 11370 deals with money only earned from drug crimes.
California PC 186.10 deals with money that’s related to any kind of crime.
Stealing is the physical removal of another person's property without the consent of the owner and with the intent to permanently deprive. Embezzlement is the offense of fraudulently converting another's property for own benefit.
California PC 503 makes it illegal to fraudulently appropriate money or property that belongs to another person and has been entrusted to the defendant.
Avoid Immigration Implications for Fraud
Offenses with fraud or deceit as an element or that are inherently fraudulent are automatically considered crimes of moral turpitude because of the fraudulent nature of these offenses. Crimes of moral turpitude are offenses that the U.S. government considers go against society's standards of morality. Crimes of moral turpitude are subject to removal or deportation proceedings. The following defense strategies will help avoid immigration consequences:
- Amount of loss to the victim cannot exceed $10,000.
- Avoid pleading to an offense that has fraud or deceit as an element.
- Consider a related offense with less than one year sentence on a single count.