When people hear the word “theft,” they often think of a masked
burglar sneaking into a home or a crook mugging someone in an alley at
gunpoint. While these are indeed examples of theft, many crimes involving
theft happen in more subtle and nonviolent ways, including through fraud.
What Constitutes Fraud?
“Fraud” is an umbrella term that describes a variety of criminal
acts involving the use of deception, false statements, or some other misrepresentation
of fact to gain an unfair advantage or financial gain, usually causing
a loss to another party.
Common types of fraud include:
Many fraud crimes in California are considered “wobbler” offenses,
meaning that prosecutors can charge them as misdemeanors or felonies depending
on the facts of the case and the defendant’s criminal history. At
the same time, many fraud offenses can be prosecuted at both the state
and federal levels, with some deemed “crimes of moral turpitude”
and subjecting legal resident aliens to deportation.
Credit Card Fraud in California
Credit card fraud is one of the most widespread types of fraud, involving
taking and dishonestly using another person’s credit card, debit
card, or account information for personal gain. In some cases, defendants
may also be charged with forgery if they signed the cardholder’s
name or used a fictitious name to gain access to a card that did not belong
to them. Credit card fraud laws also prohibit the dishonest use of credit
cards to obtain money, goods, or services without the intention of paying for them.
Other types of prohibited acts include:
- Defrauding someone using an electronic funds transfer system
- Using a forged, revoked, or expired card
- Stealing, illegally selling, or otherwise illegally obtaining a debit or
- Lying about your or someone else’s financial standing to receive
a credit card
Penalties for credit card fraud in California vary greatly depending on
the value stolen. If the amount stolen within a period of six consecutive
months equals $950 or more, a defendant can be charged with grand theft
and sentenced to up to one year in county jail upon conviction. If prosecuted
federally, however, defendants can face up to 20 years in prison depending
on the extent of the fraudulent acts.
Aggressive Fraud Defense in Riverside
If you have been charged with any type of fraud, your freedom may be at
Riverside criminal defense attorneys at Blumenthal Law Offices have more than a century’s worth of experience
defending the rights of the accused – and can provide the powerful
support you need to minimize your chances of conviction.
Call (951) 682-5110 or connect with us online
today to discuss your case in detail.