FRAUD, EXTORTION & IDENTITY THEFT CHARGES

Fraud Charges Defense

In the State of California, there are numerous types of fraud schemes. For example, telemarketing Fraud, identity theft, Nigeria Letter or 419 fraud, welfare fraud, insurance fraud, bankruptcy fraud, tax fraud, mail fraud, and credit card fraud are just a few types. Fraud is the intentional deception of a person or entity by another made for personal or monetary gain.

CAL. CIV. CODE § 3294 defines fraud:

(3)”Fraud” means an intentional misrepresentation, deceit, or concealment of a material fact known to the defendant with the intention on the part of the defendant of thereby depriving a person of property or legal rights or otherwise causing injury.

Sacramento County Criminal Defense AttorneyThere are two primary categories of fraud: actual fraud and constructive fraud. Actual fraud is contractual in nature. California Civil Code Section 1572 states:

  • Actual fraud, consists in any of the following acts, committed by a party to the contract, or with his connivance, with intent to deceive another party thereto, or to induce him to enter into the contract:
  • The suggestion, as a fact, of that which is not true, by one who does not believe it to be true;
  • The positive assertion, in a manner not warranted by the information of the person making it, of that which is not true, though he believes it to be true;
  • The suppression of that which is true, by one having knowledge or belief of the fact;
  • A promise made without any intention of performing it; or,
  • Any other act fitted to deceive.

In contrast, constructive fraud is defined as failure to perform some promised act or obligation but without actual fraudulent intent. California Civil Code Section 1573 states:

  • In any breach of duty which, without an actual fraudulent intent, gains an advantage to the person in fault, or anyone claiming under him, by misleading another to his prejudice, or to the prejudice of any one claiming under him; or,
  • In any such act or omission as the law specially declares to be fraudulent, without respect to actual fraud.

Thus, laws against fraud are both criminal and civil in nature. Criminal fraud requires criminal intent on the part of the offender. It is punishable by fines, imprisonment, probation, or all of the above. The precise penalty depend on the circumstances of the case, the type of fraud, the harm suffered by the victim(s), the severity of the of the action, the type of perpetrator: individual, entity, corporation, and prior criminal record. You may be charged with a misdemeanor, felony or both.

Civil fraud on the other hand applies more broadly to circumstances where the breach of trust is generally involved. The penalties are intended to punish the law breaker and put the victim in the same position prior to the fraudulent experience. The penalties may include paying restitution and fines.

If you were charged with fraud, it is very important for you to speak with an experienced Sacramento County criminal defense attorney about your case

An experienced Sacramento County criminal defense attorney knows the complexities of the law and will be able to protect your legal rights through the investigation and trial process. Call Wing & Parisi and get the representation you need. We know and understand that the criminal prosecutor must prove a general fraud claim by showing a misrepresentation of material fact by a person or entity who knows or believes it to be false to a person or entity who justifiably relies on the misrepresentation; and actual injury or loss resulting from his or her reliance. We will evaluate your case and prepare the necessary defenses for your case to obtain the best possible result. Call today. The initial consultation is free.

Extortion Charges Defense

Extortion in California is a very serious offense that carries very serious penalties. California extortion law is contained in sections 519 through 524 of the California Penal Code.

California Penal Code 518 defines extortion as “the obtaining of property from another, with his consent, or the obtaining of an official act of a public officer, induced by a wrongful use of force or fear, or under color of official right.”

In order to be convicted of this crime, the “force or fear” must have caused the consent. If there is a different primary cause of the victim’s consent, it is not extortion. The “fear” may be produced by:

  1. Threat to cause an unlawful injury to the victim, the victim’s property, or another person;
  2. Threat to accuse the victim or the victim’s family member of a crime;
  3. Threat to reveal disgraceful information about the victim or impute a crime to the victim;or
  4. Threat to disclose any secret involving the victim.

This is not a complete list but merely a summary of types of threats that may produce the necessary fear or force that is considered extortion.

The crime of extortion may be charged as either extortion itself or attempted extortion

If it filed as extortion, then it is a felony; it is punishable by imprisonment for two, three, or four years, a $10,000 fine, or both. Attempted extortion is considered a wobbler, which implies that it can be charged as either a felony or misdemeanor. If it is charged as a felony, then it is punishable by 16 months, 2, or 3 years in prison. If attempted extortion is charged as a misdemeanor, it may be punishable by up to one year in jail in addition to a fine. Moreover, extortion can be charged as a federal crime when it has been committed by mail, computer (email), telephone or any other instrument of interstate commerce.

It is important to note that blackmail and extortion are two distinct crimes. Blackmail is a form of extortion, but it does not carry the same charges and penalties as extortion. Extortion is obtaining something of value through threats of harmful future conduct. Blackmail is obtaining something of value in exchange for not disclosing harmful information that will damage someone’s reputation.

Many times individuals are wrongfully accused of extortion when the have actually engaged in blackmail. If you has been charged with extortion, contact an experienced Sacramento County criminal defense attorney as early as possible. It is very well possible for an experienced criminal defense lawyer to successfully obtain a reduced sentence or beat the case. Call our office today. We know the ins and outs of this field, and we are prepared to provide you with representation that can make all the difference. The initial consultation is free. Get your questions and concerns resolved.

Identity Theft Charges Defense

Identity theft is a serious crime and is on the rise in the United States. The State of California Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General reports that there were 12.6 million U.S. adult victims in 2012, or one victim every three seconds. That figure represents 5.3% of U.S. adults, including over 1.6 million Californians. The number of victims increased 8% in 2012, up from 11.6 million in 2011.

Identity theft or identity fraud refer to all types of crimes in which someone unlawfully obtains and uses another person’s personal data in some way that involves fraud or deception, typically for economic gain. Some of such information includes:

  • Social Security number;
  • Financial account number; and
  • Personal mail.

Identity thieves use this information for a variety of reasons. They take out loans, open new credit accounts, enjoy medical services, and may even commit crimes and develop criminal records.

California Penal Code 530.5 defines identity theft

(a) Every person who willfully obtains personal identifying information, as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 530.55, of another person, and uses that information for any unlawful purpose, including to obtain, or attempt to obtain, credit, goods, services, real property, or medical information without the consent of that person, is guilty of a public offense, and upon conviction therefor, shall be punished by a fine, by imprisonment in a county jail not to exceed one year, or by both a fine and imprisonment, or by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170.

Identity theft is charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony in California. Generally, the charge and penalties prescribed for identity theft are determined by the harm suffered by the victim, and the criminal history of the person charged with crime. It is common for those charged with the crime to serve at least one year in county jail and be ordered to pay restitution to the victim. In addition to sentencing someone convicted of identity theft to pay a fine and/or serve jail or prison sentence, the court may also order the person charged to serve a period of probation, which lasts for at least one year.

Speak with a Criminal Defense Attorney About Your Criminal Charges

If you have been charged with identity theft, it is of utmost importance for you to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney. An experienced criminal defense attorney will evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of evidence against you, advise you of the best legal options available for your case, and protect your legal rights. Call our office today and speak with an experienced Sacramento criminal lawyer. The initial consultation is free.

There’s no substitute for a strong criminal defense lawyer in Sacramento, call Wing & Parisi at (916) 441-4888.

Contact us online or call at (916) 441-4888 for a free and confidential initial consultation, available in Spanish. We appear in state and federal courts in the Sacramento and Davis communities as well as throughout Placer and San Joaquin counties.

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If you have been arrested and charged with a crime, contact the Law Office of Wing & Parisi for free consultation.

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