Over 100 Not Guilty Verdicts At Trial | Over 2,000 Dismissals

* Statistics Verified by County Clerk of Court Documents

Read More
Client Testimonials
  • "I trust this law firm so much that I refer them friends and family. They are always there for you with advice and guidance." by A.S., Past Client
  • "If your college kid makes a mistake this is the attorney you need" by Anonymous (AVVO Review), Parent of Past Client
  • "Superlative firm, experienced and professional. Definitely a stand out in Tallahassee." by Austin C., Past Client
  • "I would trust him with my case 10/10 times, A+ lawyer!" by D. Hoffman, Past Client
  • "Today, my relative is no longer in the system, having to report on a weekly basis, graduated college & gone on with his carer, having avoided prison - Thanks to Don Pumphrey JR." by Donna J., Relative of Past Client
  • "He went above and beyond to help me in my troubled time." by Eric U., Past Client
  • "I would recommend them to anyone that is in need of the best legal care available!!! " by J. Martinez, Past Client
  • "Without question, the best criminal defense attorney in Tallahassee." by J.P.M., Past Client
  • "Highly recommended if you need the best representation" by L.L., Past Client
  • "They were there for me every step of the way and I never felt like just another case to them." by Lauren J., Past Client
  • " Don Pumphrey is the best attorney in Florida." by Luke S., Past Client
  • " He's a great person and cares very much about his clients." by M.G., Past Client
  • "His passion for justice is second only to his unwavering commitment to his clients." by Michael M., Past Client
  • "The best in the Southeast!" by Mike T., Past Client
  • ""Best Lawyer in Town"" by Yohan Lange, Former Client

Fraud

Tallahassee white collar lawyer

The Florida legislature has enacted serious criminal penalties for a variety of crimes involving fraud. Fraud is a form of theft that occurs through deception and involves the misrepresentation of certain facts to deceive another person out of money or services.

Because fraud does not involve any act of violence and sometimes occurs through a person’s employment, most types of fraud offenses are considered white collar crimes. Yet even without including a violent nature, fraud offenses carry harsh penalties if the State secures a conviction. You could be faced with fines, imprisonment, and paying restitution back to the alleged victim.

It’s important to point out that individuals can be wrongfully accused of fraud. In these instances, finding a defense attorney who will accurately represent you and your case is extremely important. Consider consulting a defense attorney in Tallahassee to go over your case details and plan to fight against a criminal conviction.

Tallahassee Fraud Defense Lawyer

Have you or a loved one recently been arrested for allegation of fraud? If so, prioritize contacting the defense attorneys with Pumphrey Law Firm. Our goal as defense attorneys is to get your charges reduced or dismissed. Call our office at (850) 681-7777 to schedule a free consultation.

Pumphrey Law represents clients throughout Florida’s Second Judicial Circuit, including Bristol in Liberty County, Crawfordville in Wakulla County, Monticello in Jefferson County and Quincy in Gadsden County.

Information About Fraud Crimes in Florida

Back to Top

What is Fraud?

According to the Florida Bar, fraud is a broad term that refers to any intentional deception of another person or entity committed by another person for personal or financial gain. Fraudulent acts are usually conducted by misleading or deceiving another person. Common types of fraud include:

  • Bank fraud: Involves the fraudulent activities committed against banks, including forging checks or providing false information to obtain loans.
  • Tax fraud: Involves providing false information on a tax return to evade paying taxes owed or receiving fraudulent tax refunds.
  • Identity theft: Involves the unauthorized use of someone else’s personal identifying information including their name, social security number, or financial account details, with the intent to commit fraud.
  • Insurance fraud: Involves the fraudulent acts committed to obtain benefits from insurance companies. Examples include falsifying claims, staging an accident, or providing false information to receive insurance coverage.
  • Wire fraud: Involves the use of electronic communication to engage in fraudulent schemes to obtain money or property under false pretenses, which includes the use of email or phone calls.
  • Credit card fraud: Involves the unauthorized possession, use, or sale of another person’s credit card information, or the use of stolen or counterfeit cards.

Fraud is a broad term with multiple criminal offenses that fall beneath it. When a person is accused of a fraudulent crime in Florida, the prosecution will bear the responsibility of proving the following general elements beyond a reasonable doubt

  1. The defendant made a statement relating to a material fact;
  2. The defendant knew such statement was false;
  3. The false statement of material fact resulted in another person or entity suffering injury or harm; and
  4. The defendant had the intent of committing fraud to obtain money or property out of the victim.

Types of Fraud Crimes in Leon County

The Florida Legislature covers a broad spectrum of criminal offenses that are considered fraudulent acts. These offenses include:

  • Organized Fraud –Under Florida Statute Section 817.034(4)(a), a person can face prosecution for a systematic, ongoing course of conduct with the intent to defraud one or more persons through false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, promises, or willful misrepresentations of a future act and in which the defendant obtains money or property thereby. Depending on the aggregated value received in the alleged offense, organized fraud can range from a third-degree felony to a first-degree felony.
  • Communications Fraud Under Florida Statute Section 817.034, a person can face prosecution for engaging in a scheme to defraud and, in furtherance of that scheme, communicates with any person with the intent to obtain property. Depending on the aggregated value received in the alleged offense, communications fraud can range from a first-degree misdemeanor to a third-degree felony.
  • Fraudulent Creation, Use or Possession of Counterfeit Personal Identification Information – Under Florida Statute Section 817.568(9), a person can face prosecution for willfully and fraudulently creating or using counterfeit or fictitious personal identification information with the intent to commit or facilitate the commission of fraud on another person. This offense is considered a third-degree felony.
  • Fraudulent Use or Possession of Personal Identification Information –Under Florida Statute Section 817.568(2)(a), a person can face prosecution for willfully, and without authorization, fraudulently uses, or possesses with intent to fraudulently use, personal identification information concerning another person without that person’s consent. This offense is considered a third-degree felony.
  • Medicaid Fraud –Under Florida Statute Section 409.920, a person can face prosecution for knowingly receiving, attempting to receive, or aids and abets in the receipt of an unauthorized payment or other unauthorized public assistance or authorization or identification to obtain public assistance. Depending on the value received in the alleged offense, this crime can range from a third-degree felony to a first-degree felony.
  • Extortion – Under Florida Statute Section 836.05, a person can face prosecution for the maliciously threatening to accuse another person of a crime, for threatening physical harm to another person, or to threaten to expose another person to disgrace, with the intent to receive money, any pecuniary advantage, or to compel the threatened person to commit or refrain from a specific act against their will. This offense can take place verbally or through written communication. Extortion is considered a second-degree felony.
  • Exploitation of an Elderly Person or Disabled Adult – Under Florida Statute Section 825.103, a person can face prosecution for knowingly obtaining or using, or attempting to obtain and use, the funds, assets, or property of an elderly or disabled person with the intent to deprive the owner of such use, benefit, or possession temporarily or permanently. The offense can also include conspiring with another person to obtain the elderly or disabled person’s information through intentional modification, alteration, or fraudulent creation of a plan of distribution expressed through a will, trust agreement, or other testamentary devise. Depending on the funds, assets, or property involved in the alleged offense, this crime can range from a third-degree felony to a first-degree felony.
  • Forgery – Under Florida Statute Section 831.01, a person can face prosecution for falsely making, altering, forging, or counterfeiting a public record with the intent to injure or defraud another person. This can include any of the following:
    • Charter;
    • Deed;
    • Testament;
    • Bond;
    • Writing obligatory;
    • Letter of attorney; or
    • Acceptance of a bill of exchange or promissory note.
    • Forgery is considered a third-degree felony.
  • Fraudulent Use of Credit Cards – Under Florida Statute Section 817.61, a person can face prosecution for using a credit card obtained or retained in violation of law, or a credit card that is known to be forged for the purpose of obtaining money, goods, services, or anything else of value. Depending on the number of times the fraudulent card is used, and the estimated value obtained through the violation, this offense can be charged as a first-degree misdemeanor or a third-degree felony.

Back to Top

How is Value Determined in Fraud Cases?

Under Florida Statute Section 817.034(3)(e), the value in a fraud case is determined according to the following:

  1. The market value of the property at the time of the offense, or the cost of a replacement for such property after the offense;
  2. The amount due or collectible for cases involving instruments without a readily ascertainable market value, such as with a check, draft, or promissory note, or the greatest amount of economic loss that the owner would suffer for the loss of such instrument; or
  3. Any reasonable value representing damage to the owner, for fraud cases involving a trade secret without a readily ascertainable market value, which is suffered by reason of losing the advantage over those without knowledge or use of such trade secret.

Important: If the value of property lost through the alleged fraud crime cannot be determined, or if no minimum value can be ascertained, then the value is considered an amount less than $300.

Additionally, the value of separate properties obtained through a scheme to defraud will be aggregated, or counted as a whole, for determining the specific penalties for the offense.

Penalties for Fraud Charges in Florida

The penalties associated with fraud crimes vary for each offense. The exact sentencing and resulting punishment will be determined based on the amount of money or the value of the property that was taken through the alleged fraudulent act.

If you are convicted of a fraud crime in Florida, you could face the following penalties:

  • First-Degree Felony: Conviction carries up to 30 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
  • Second-Degree Felony: Conviction carries up to 15 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
  • Third-Degree Felony: Conviction carries up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000.
  • First-Degree Misdemeanor: Conviction carries up to a year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.

In addition to the statute-specific fines and incarceration period, a person convicted of a fraud offense could also be required to pay restitution to the alleged victim. This means that you would be required to pay back the property or aggregated value of money that was obtained through the fraudulent act.

Contact a Tallahassee defense attorney to go over your case details and determine the best way to move forward to combat a criminal conviction.

Defenses for a Fraud Charge

While the outcome of a white-collar crime conviction can come with severe consequences, a defendant should be aware of the defenses that may be applicable to their case. Common fraud defenses include, but are not limited to:

  • Lack of intent – Most fraud charges require the defendant’s intent to obtain money or property by deceiving another person or entity. If the defendant had no intention of defrauding another person, this may help to reduce or drop the charge.
  • Lack of knowledge – Similar to the element of intent, the defendant must have been aware of their fraudulent act and known that it would have deceived another person. A defendant who did not know or understand that a fraudulent act was occurring may be able to have a defense attorney challenge the charge to the prosecution.
  • Entrapment – If a police officer coerced or induced a person to commit a fraudulent act they wouldn’t have committed otherwise, a defense attorney can argue that there was an element of entrapment in the case, which could help get the charges reduced or dismissed.
  • Illegal Search and Seizure – A defendant whose evidence was obtained through an illegal search and seizure by law enforcement could have the evidence or charge dismissed from the case.

These are just a few valid defense strategies available in fraud cases. Contact the Tallahassee defense attorneys with Pumphrey Law Firm to go over the defenses we think are available to help you fight a conviction.

Back to Top

Finding a Fraud Defense Attorney in Tallahassee, FL

If you have been charged with a fraud crime in North Florida, it is important that you understand the charges you face and their potential consequences. White collar crimes can be complex and nuanced. It is in your best interest to have a knowledgeable and experienced Tallahassee criminal defense attorney on your side who can help answer questions or concerns you may have throughout the legal proceedings.

A fraud conviction carries profound consequences, such as paying expensive fines, restitution, and the possibility of imprisonment. Your character could also be questioned, resulting in you being labeled as an untrustworthy person. This can cause difficulties when applying for jobs, finding a home to rent, or even with maintaining personal relationships. The attorneys at Pumphrey Law Firm can provide you with support and the strategized tactics to fight the charges.

If you have been charged with fraud in Leon County or the surrounding areas, contact an experienced Tallahassee fraud defense attorney at Pumphrey Law Firm. Our defense attorneys will counsel you throughout the legal process and ensure you have the best defense to combat your charges. Contact us today to receive a free consultation by calling (850) 681-7777.


Page Updated January 30, 2024

Back to Top