This is the next post in a series of articles discussing defending against criminal fraud in Peoria, Illinois. My previous article focused on the distinctions between the prosecution of a criminal fraud charge versus civil fraud lawsuits between private individuals or entities. Victims of fraud who have been damaged by the defendant can bring private actions to recover compensation for such damages. If a person is accused of violating Illinois’ criminal statutes prohibiting fraudulent activities, they will face prosecution by the state and, if convicted, criminal penalties such as fines and jail time. Given the severity of the penalties involved, it is imperative to retain a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to represent your interests against fraud charges. In this article, I will address various activities that may lead to such charges in Illinois. If you need assistance, contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.
As previously discussed in this series, fraud is broadly defined as intentionally deceiving another for the purpose of gaining something of value. We often hear warnings about fraudulent schemes, scams, and other deceptive behaviors, but may not specifically understand what constitutes criminal fraud. Illinois and federal law specifically prohibit various types of behavior constituting fraud. These include writing a check knowing that there are insufficient funds, identity theft, providing false information to obtain state benefits, committing fraud against a financial institution, mail fraud, or internet fraud. In light of the broad categories of prohibited actions, fraud can be committed in countless ways. Common methods include pyramid or Ponzi schemes for businesses, selling phony services through telemarketing, or purchasing goods using someone else’s credit card number. Others may include impersonating a government official and requesting financial information, selling investments into nonexistent real estate, or requiring prepayment for services that are never provided.
For obvious reasons, the state takes fraud charges of all types seriously and devotes significant resources to identifying and prosecuting those suspected of engaging in such activities. In some cases, however, police misconduct or overzealous prosecutors can lead to false accusations or charges based on violations of the rights of the accused. For instance, law enforcement may infringe upon one’s Fourth Amendment rights against illegal searches and seizures to obtain evidence or fail to provide the required Miranda warning in violation of one’s Fifth Amendment rights. Defenses based on these theories involve complex legal theories and arguments. An attorney with experience in these matters can help identify violations of your rights and effectively present all available defenses on your behalf.
As a former prosecutor, I understand that Illinois takes a tough stance against criminal fraud. I help defend those charged with such offenses and am ready to assist you. In addition to Peoria, we also serve clients in Bloomington, Decatur, Eureka, Galesburg, Morton, Normal, Pekin, Springfield, and Washington and the counties of Fulton, Knox, LaSalle, Marshall, Mason, McLean, Putnam, Rock Island, Schuyler, Stark, Tazewell, and Woodford. Additional areas where we handle federal cases include Benton, Chicago, East St. Louis, Springfield, and Urbana.