If you have been arrested for online fraud or another fraud crime in the Commonwealth of Virginia, you are being charged with complicated crimes that can be impossible to defend against on your own. These are serious misdemeanor and felony charges that can result in severe penalties including lengthy prison sentences, large fines, and permanent criminal records. Simply being arrested for one of these offenses can have devastating consequences on your reputation with your employer, co-workers, family, and friends.
It is important to contact an experienced Fairfax fraud attorney as soon as possible if you face fraud or online fraud charges. Even if you believe you are guilty, you may have strong defenses that can result in the charges being dismissed or reduced to a much less serious offense. The skilled lawyers at Greenspun Shapiro PC are here to help you through every step in your criminal proceedings and to aggressively fight for your legal rights so that you achieve the best possible outcome.
Types of Fraud Crimes in Fairfax
Fraud crimes involve the act of deceiving a person, business, or financial institution for personal and financial gain. There are many misdemeanor and felony fraud offenses in Virginia. Our experienced Fairfax fraud attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases involving fraud and online fraud, including the following:
- Counterfeiting. Counterfeiting is a type of forgery in Virginia and is often a felony offense. It is a crime to make counterfeit money or coins, possess fake money or coins with the intent to use them, or to possess or make counterfeiting tools. A person can be charged with counterfeiting under Virginia law or federal law. Under state law, if a person possesses less than 10 coins or bills, it is a Class 3 misdemeanor with a possible sentence of a $500 fine. Possessing more than 10 coins or bills is a Class 6 felony, and the punishment can be up to five years in prison. Making or possessing counterfeit tools is a Class 4 felony punishable by 2 to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.
- Bank fraud. There are many different crimes that fall under bank fraud offenses in Virginia, and they involve the use of illegal means to obtain assets or money from a bank or other financial institution. Check fraud is a very common type of bank fraud offense where a person issues a check that he knows will not clear. If the value of the check is $200 or more, the person can be charged with a Class 6 felony punishable by up to five years in prison. Federal bank fraud crimes include mortgage and real estate fraud, embezzlement, money laundering, falsifying information, and bank fraud conspiracy. These offenses are punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to one million dollars.
- Mail and wire fraud. Mail and wire fraud are charged as federal felony crimes. A person can be charged with mail fraud for using the U.S. Postal Service—or another interstate carrier such as UPS—to deprive a person of his property or services. Examples of these crimes include Ponzi schemes, charity donation fraud, and fraudulent job offers. Wire fraud involves using electronic communications that are sent over state lines to defraud another of property or services. It can involve creating a website to ask for charitable donations, stealing bank or financial information, or sending a mass email requesting money to help a person out of a tragic situation. Possible penalties include 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
- Cyber crimes. Cyber crimes are internet crimes that are committed through the use of a computer, cell phone, or another type of computer technology. A person can be charged under Virginia or federal cyber crime laws. Computer fraud, computer invasion of property, identity theft, credit card theft, and internet sex crimes are just a few of these offenses. The punishment upon conviction depends upon the offense, but it can include 20 years or more in prison and a fine of $100,000.
- Identity theft. While identity theft can be charged as a cyber crime, it is a separate criminal offense under Virginia law. It is a crime to obtain identifying information of another person without his permission in order to access financial resources or identifying documents, to acquire money, loans, or goods, or to obtain identification documents in the victim’s name. It is also illegal to sell this information or attempt to use it to avoid legal summons, arrest, or prosecution. Identity theft can be charged as a felony, and the sentence can be up to 10 years in prison and a $100,000 fine if it is a Class 5 felony.
- Email and computer hacking. There are many laws—both at the federal and state level—that make it a crime to engage in email and computer hacking. Wire fraud, computer fraud, identity theft, computer invasion of privacy, and violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act are some of the charges that may be brought. The penalties will depend on the specific offense but may include a 20-year prison sentence and a fine of up to $250,000.
Let Our Fairfax Fraud Attorneys Assist You in Building a Strong Defense to Fraud or Online Fraud Charges
Were you or a loved one charged with a fraud or online fraud crime in Fairfax? Our experienced fraud attorneys have decades of experience fighting for the rights of individuals facing both federal and state charges. We understand the complexities in these cases and are here to build a strong defense for you, which is possible whether you are innocent or guilty. This may result in the charges being dismissed or reduced to a less serious offense. To learn more about your possible defenses and what to expect during your criminal proceedings, fill out our online form or call (703) 352-0100 to schedule your free consultation today.