What is a Federal Fraud Offense?

If an individual intentionally uses deception or misrepresentation to gain benefit for himself or others, that person can be prosecuted for fraud. Federal fraud is prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office; the most common types of federal fraud cases involve the following:

Mail and Wire Fraud

Federal law prohibits the use of the mail or any wire communications technology to commit fraud. Mail and wire fraud are often ancillary charges to other white collar crimes, since those crimes typically involve some sort of mail or Internet communication between parties to commit the fraud.

Securities Fraud

The federal government regulates the securities and commodities markets in the U.S. Securities fraud can include a number of white collar crimes, including insider trading, Ponzi schemes, investment schemes, embezzlement and money laundering. Typically, securities fraud occurs when a broker, brokerage firm or investment advisor uses false or misleading information to sell stocks or other securities to investors. It can also occur when traders or brokers use information that is not available to the public in order to profit themselves or others.

Tax Fraud

Tax fraud occurs when a taxpayer tries to avoid paying federal income taxes, either through not reporting income, filing false information or failing to file a federal income tax return. According to the IRS, there is approximately $2 trillion in unreported or untaxed income every year.

Health Care Fraud

Typically known as Medicaid or Medicare fraud, health care fraud typically occurs when a health care provider — either an individual or a company — attempts to collect illegitimate reimbursements from federal health care programs by overcharging for services, charging for services not provided or charging for services that were unnecessary.

Penalties for Fraud

Federal fraud crimes are usually felony offenses, and can include prison time, fines, restitution and probation. A federal fraud charge is very serious and one that requires the expertise of an experienced white collar criminal attorney. With endless resources at its disposal, the federal government can devote a lot of time and effort into prosecuting a fraud crime.

The Cogdell Law Firm is a boutique law firm focusing on large, complex business and criminal financial-related litigation, including white collar criminal defense, securities fraud, health care fraud investigation, criminal appeals and state criminal defense. When results matter most, contact Dan Cogdell at (713) 426-2244 or dan@cogdell-law.com.