Aggressive Charleston Attorneys Protect Clients Charged With Fraud
West Virginia white-collar firm provides high-caliber criminal defense
Defending against fraud charges is demanding of high-caliber legal resources due to the wide range of activities that a prosecution may target. Fraud covers all forms of obtaining money, property or services through deception or intentional misrepresentation, and criminal cases involve in-depth investigations into complex tax and financial records. From our Charleston office, experienced attorneys at The Giatras Law Firm, PLLC diligently defend against fraud charges at the state and federal levels.
White-collar criminal firm skilled in federal and West Virginia fraud cases
Whether you are accused of victimizing a person, a company or a government entity, our attorneys are on your side. We defend against prosecutions for all types of fraud, including:
- Mortgage fraud — Criminal charges can allege intentionally misrepresenting or omitting information on a mortgage loan application in order to obtain financing or a larger loan than you would qualify for. Fraud charges may also be filed against industry insiders, such as bank officers, appraisers, brokers, attorneys, loan originators and others who misuse the mortgage lending process to steal from financial institutions or borrowers.
- Tax fraud — This common form of fraud consists of deliberately and knowingly failing to pay state or federal taxes or to file a tax return, filing a false tax return, failing to withhold tax or maintain tax records or misusing a tax exemption. Penalties vary depending on the amount of taxes wrongfully withheld from the government.
- Mail fraud — This is a federal crime because it involves use of the U.S. Mail and other delivery services to carry out fraudulent or other criminal activity. Often, this crime creates federal jurisdiction over other prosecutions that would otherwise occur at the state level. It is punishable by a fine and imprisonment of up to 30 years.
- Wire fraud — This crime involves use of interstate communications, including email and the internet, to carry out illegal activity. It includes telemarketing fraud, phishing and spam-related schemes. As with mail fraud, federal jurisdiction usually applies.
- Credit/debit card fraud — This covers obtaining or attempting to obtain credit or purchasing or attempting to purchase any goods, property or service using stolen, false, fictitious or counterfeit credit cards or related information. In West Virginia, if the credit, goods, property, service or transaction is valued at $1,000 or more, the fraud is a felony carrying one to 10 years in prison.
- Bankruptcy fraud — Any act of intentionally misrepresenting one’s financial holdings or debts when filing for bankruptcy is not only a crime — punishable by a $250,000 for each count and up to 20 years in prison — but it can also serve to bar the defendant from filing bankruptcy for a lengthy period of time.
- Computer fraud — Using a computer in West Virginia to defraud someone to obtain money, property or services is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Possession of someone else’s computer data valued at more than $5,000 is also a felony and carries the same penalties.
- Securities fraud — Making a false statement about a company on the value of its stock that entices others to make financial decisions is a federal crime. Securities fraud includes insider trading, where company executives buy or sell stocks, or promote or facilitate such transactions, based on information that isn’t available to the public.
- Healthcare fraud — This form of fraud includes using another person’s health insurance to obtain care, changing or forging prescriptions or medical records, selling your prescription drugs and providing false information in a health benefits application. Medical providers may commit fraud by billing for services not provided, billing for duplicate or non-covered services, falsifying credentials and performing services that are not medically necessary.
- Charity fraud — This activity includes pretending to be a registered charity, posing as a solicitor on behalf of an actual charity or otherwise diverting funds from a charitable institution or organization.
State and federal authorities have made financial crimes a high priority and often seek maximum penalties under the law. Whether you have been charged or are currently being investigated, you need a criminal defense attorney experienced in white-collar cases to begin representation immediately. The earlier we can start to develop your defense and fight for your rights, the better your chance of obtaining an acquittal, reduced sentence or plea agreement.
Building a strong defense against fraud charges
To prove fraud, prosecutors must show that the defendant knowingly misled the victim and that the victim relied on the misrepresentation and suffered an actual loss. Multiple avenues exist for poking holes in the prosecutor’s case. Our attorneys understand the complex weave of laws and regulations that can be brought to bear in fraud prosecutions, especially at the federal level. When necessary, we work with experts in these areas, including financial investigators and technology consultants to build the most solid defense possible for our clients.
Trust your fraud case to powerful West Virginia injury lawyers
Fraud crimes carry stiff fines and long prison sentences. Count on The Giatras Law Firm, PLLC to protect your rights. Call our experienced criminal defense attorneys in Charleston, WV at 888-819-1281 or contact us online.