New York Fraud Lawyer

Fraud is an action based on an intent to defraud, whereby an individual deceives another person for their advantage and that person relies on an individual’s misrepresentation that wrongfully transferred a right, interest or property to them.

If you have been charged with fraud in the state of New York, it is important to obtain legal counsel as soon as possible. An experienced New York fraud lawyer can mount a strong defense to help minimize any potential consequences you may be facing.

Instances of Fraud

There are many instances where an individual could be charged with fraud. For example, the wrongful use of someone’s credit card could land an individual with a fraud charge. A person may have found a credit card on the ground and did not return it.

Any individual who has found themselves facing a fraud charge in New York should obtain legal representation as soon as possible. A knowledgeable fraud lawyer in New York City can help an individual defend against any allegations they are facing.

Theft of a Credit Card

Further, a person may have stolen a credit card from someone’s pocket or their wallet. A person may also work at a business where they have access to the credit card in their office. Irrespective of how this person gets the credit card, if they use it improperly for their own gain or advantage, they are committing fraud. There are many different frauds that can occur in these simple scenarios.

The actual theft of a credit card is considered grand larceny. If a person steals a credit card, it is a felony violation in the state of New York. If the individual did not steal it but possessed a stolen credit or debit card, then an individual is in violation of the fifth-degree criminal possession charge of stolen property. Such a charge can be defended through the use of a New York fraud attorney.

Forgery

If a person is stealing a credit card not only is it larceny, but also fraud. As soon as the person signs off on a receipt for a transaction, for example, and they are not the person authorized to sign, they are looking at a crime involving forgery.

Forgery in the third degree is a misdemeanor that says that a person is guilty of forgery when they intend to defraud, deceive, or injure another person, and then the person falsely makes or completes a written instrument. Such a charge can be effectively defended using a fraud attorney in New York.

Signing either on the screen after swiping the card, signing the actual paper receipt, or even checking the box for the online transaction is considered a misdemeanor in the charge of third-degree forgery.

There are other elements of forgery as well that fall under a New York fraud classification. These include:

  • Counterfeit money or currency
  • Fake or altered credit cards
  • Creating a fake contract for sale, a deed, or a will

The creation of any of these, other than currency, is classified as forgery in the second degree. When money is involved, the charge increases to forgery in the first degree. Cash or another monetary item makes the charge much more serious.

If an individual knowingly possessed forged currency or treasury checks, they would be charged with first-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument. A person may either have created those documents, or just possessed those documents.

For instance, if an individual possesses a fake ID, and they are trying to board an airplane or get into a bar, the possession of that license is considered a felony. Such charges should only be defended using an experienced New York fraud lawyer.

Altering Certified Documents

If an individual makes a false passport, or merely makes some changes to an existing drivers license, they may be charged with fraud. The law does not require that an individual completely creates a new instrument, but even deleting or altering such a document is sufficient to violate the law. It can be as simple as just changing the letter or a number. 

If an individual is making this altered or completely fictitious identifications and instruments, then they would be charged with a class D felony of second-degree forgery pursuant to New York Penal Law.

If an individual knowingly possessed these forged identifications, then they would be charged with second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument unless the prosecutor decided to instead charge them with the lesser third-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument. No matter the degree of the charge, an individual must consult with a New York fraud lawyer to begin building a solid defense.

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