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Financial and Fraud Crimes

Everything you need to know when charged with a financial or fraud offense, and how we attack the issue head on to either vindicate you or mitigate your charges

What Are the Financial and Fraud Crimes Charges In Michigan?

Drugged & Drunk Driving

To prove this charge, the prosecutor must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The property or money belonged to the complainant;
  2. The accused had a relationship of trust with the complainant as an agent or employee;
  3. The accused obtained possession or control of the money or property because of this relationship;
  4. The accused either;
    1. dishonestly disposed of the money or property;
    2. converted the money or property to his or her own use; or
    3. took or hid the money or property with the intent to convert it to his or her own use without consent of complainant;
  5. At the time the defendant did this, he or she intended to defraud or cheat complainant of some property;

Special Considerations

  • In terms of valuation of the embezzled property, the prosecution can add together the value of property or money embezzled in separate incidents if part of a scheme or course of conduct occurred within a 12-month period.
  • It does not matter whether the agent was legally authorized to handle the property or money that came into his or her possession.
  • Failing to return the money or property upon request can infer intent

Penalty

  • Generally this statute fixes penalties based on the value of the money or personal property embezzled. These range from a 93-day misdemeanor and/or $500 fine for embezzling $200 or less, to a 20-year felony and/or $50,000 fine for embezzling $100,000 or more.
  • However, penalties can be enhanced for defendants with certain prior convictions under this statute and in cases where the victim is a nonprofit corporation or a charitable organization. 

To prove this charge, the prosecutor must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The accused wrote or caused a check, draft, or money order to be written and that he or she signed it;
  2. That this check, draft, or money order was presented in the usual course of business and that the bank refused to cash it because the defendant had insufficient funds in his or her account;
  3. That the accused received notice of nonpayment; and
  4. The did not pay the amount due on the check, draft, or money order and all costs and fees within five days after he or she received notice of nonpayment.

Special Considerations

  • If the defendant knew when he or she wrote the check, draft, or money order that he or she did not have enough money in the bank to cover it at the time, but had good reason to believe that the check, draft, or money order would be paid when it was presented for payment, then the defendant did not have the intent to defraud or cheat anyone and must be found  not guilty.
  • If the defendant wrote the check, draft, or money order when he or she did not have enough money in the bank to cover it because they had made an honest mistake about how much money they had in the account, then the defendant did not have the intent to defraud or cheat anyone and must be found not guilty.

Penalty

Punishment depends on the amount of the checks and range from a 93 day misdemeanor and/or a $500 fine for amounts under $100 to 2 years and/or $2000 amounts over $500.

To prove this charge, the prosecutor must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The accused wrote or delivered a check, draft, or money order;
  2. The accused did not have an account or credit with that bank;
  3. The accused intended to defraud or cheat someone; and 
  4. The check, draft, or money order was presented for payment

Special Considerations

  • The prosecutor is not required to prove that the defendant received property or money as the result of drawing the no-account check.
  • One who endorses it with full knowledge, belief, or expectation of ultimate nonpayment, comes within the purview of the statute.

Penalty

Felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than two years, a fine of not more than $500, or both.

To prove this charge, the prosecutor must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The accused wrote or delivered three check, draft, or money order;
  2. When They did this, the accused did not have enough money or credit with the bank to pay any of the checks, drafts, or money orders in full AND knew this to be the case; and
  3. The accused intended to defraud or cheat someone.

Special Considerations

  • We look for explanations such as a recent garnishment, a divorce, or other financial setback for the defendant. Lack of ability to check the account online, a recently changed address, or other information deficits may show the lack of intent.
  • The proofs to show intent are difficult to present, especially if the facts in question are open to interpretation.

Penalty

Felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than two years, a fine of not more than $500, or both.

To prove this charge, the prosecutor must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The accused obtained possession of, retained, hid, or used another’s financial transaction device;
  2. The accused did this knowingly; and 
  3. The accused did this without the device owner’s consent and they intended to defraud or cheat someone.

Special Considerations

  • Copying someone’s driver’s license, social security, and bank numbers on a piece of paper without the authorization of the victim is sufficient.

Penalty

Felony

To prove this charge, the prosecutor must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The accused possessed a financial transaction device which was either fraudulently issued or was altered in some way so that it was different than when it was originally issued;
  2. They did so knowingly and intended to defraud or cheat someone;

Special Considerations

  • Even though intent is an element, “only minimal circumstantial evidence is required” as proof “because it is difficult to prove an actor’s state of mind.”

Penalty

Felony

To prove this charge, the prosecutor must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The accused possessed another’s financial transaction device, had it under his or her control, or received it from another person;
  2. They did so knowing it was without the owner’s consent;
  3. The accused intended to, permitted, or caused someone to use, deliver, circulate, or sell this device; and 
  4. The accused intended to defraud or cheat someone when he or she did this.

Special Considerations

  • Even though intent is an element, “only minimal circumstantial evidence is required” as proof “because it is difficult to prove an actor’s state of mind.”

Penalty

Felony

To prove this charge, the prosecutor must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The device in question was falsely made, materially altered, forged, counterfeited, or duplicated;
  2. The accused falsely made, materially altered, forged, counterfeited, or  duplicated the device; and 
  3. The accused intended to defraud or cheat someone when he or she did this.

Special Considerations

  • Even though intent is an element, “only minimal circumstantial evidence is required” as proof “because it is difficult to prove an actor’s state of mind.”

Penalty

Felony

To prove this charge, the prosecutor must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The device in question had been revoked or canceled;
  2. The accused received notice of the revocation or cancellation; 
  3. After receiving the notice, the accussed used the device for the purpose of obtaining state goods, property, services, or other things of value; 
  4. The accused knew when he or she used the device that it had been revoked or canceled;
  5. The accused intended to defraud or cheat someone when he or she did this.

Special Considerations

  • The statute specifically excludes from the prohibited acts the use of an expired financial transaction device.

Penalty

Generally this statute fixes penalties based on the value of the goods, property, or services or of anything of value obtained with intent to defraud. However, penalties can be enhanced for defendants with certain prior convictions under this statute. Penalties range from a 93 day misdemeanor and/or $500 fine for values of less than $100 to a 2-year felony and/or $2000 fine for values of more than $500.

To prove this charge, the prosecutor must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The accused sold or delivered goods or services to a violator of the laws regarding financial transaction devices;
  2. That in doing this, the accused used or aided someone else in using a financial transaction device in an unlawful way;
  3. The accused knew at the time that the device was being used unlawfully; and 
  4. The accused intended to defraud or cheat someone when he or she did this or aid in defrauding or cheating someone.

Special Considerations

  • Even though intent is an element, “only minimal circumstantial evidence is required” as proof “because it is difficult to prove an actor’s state of mind.”

Penalty

Felony

To prove this charge, the prosecutor must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The accused forged  deviceholder’s signature or aided someone in forging the signature;
  2. That in doing this, the accused caused the deviceholder to be overcharged, to be charged for an unauthorized purchase, or to suffer a financial loss; and
  3. The accused intended to defraud or cheat someone when he or she did this.

Special Considerations

  • Even though intent is an element, “only minimal circumstantial evidence is required” as proof “because it is difficult to prove an actor’s state of mind.”

Penalty

Felony

To prove this charge, the prosecutor must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The accused made, or had someone else make, a false statement in writing about his or her or someone else’s identity.;
  2. That this false statement was made to obtain a financial transaction device;
  3. The accused knew at the time that the statement was false; and 
  4. The accused intended to defraud or cheat someone when he or she did this.

Special Considerations

  • Even though intent is an element, “only minimal circumstantial evidence is required” as proof “because it is difficult to prove an actor’s state of mind.”
  • The statute is violated “when a person presents a written, false statement of identity for the purpose of fraudulently obtaining a credit card, not when the card is actually obtained.”

Penalty

Felony

To prove this charge, the prosecutor must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The accused used a financial transaction device to withdraw or transfer money;
  2. The accused withdrew more money than the defendant had on deposit, more money than the defendant was allowed to, or money more often than the defendant was allowed to;
  3. The accused did this knowingly and intended to defraud or cheat someone when he or she did this.

Special Considerations

  • Even though intent is an element, “only minimal circumstantial evidence is required” as proof “because it is difficult to prove an actor’s state of mind.”

Penalty

Felony

To prove this charge, the prosecutor must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The device was false, forged, altered, or counterfeit;
  2. The accused exhibited, offered, or presented the device;
  3. The accused by his or her words, acts, or both, represented the device as valid;
  4. The accused knew when he or she did this that the device was false, forged, altered, or counterfeit; and 
  5. The accused intended to defraud or cheat someone when he or she did this.

Special Considerations

  • Even though intent is an element, “only minimal circumstantial evidence is required” as proof “because it is difficult to prove an actor’s state of mind.”

Penalty

Felony

To prove this charge, the prosecutor must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The accused made or knowingly possessed an instrument;
  2. The instrument was designed or adapted to make, alter, or counterfeit a device;
  3. The accused intended to use or have someone else use the instrument to make, alter, or counterfeit a device;

Special Considerations

  • Even though intent is an element, “only minimal circumstantial evidence is required” as proof “because it is difficult to prove an actor’s state of mind.”

Penalty

Felony

To prove this charge, the prosecutor must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The accused used or attempted to use the personal identifying information of the complainant;
  2. The accused did this with the intent to obtain credit, goods, services, money, property, a vital record, a confidential telephone record, medical records or information, or employment;
  3. The accused intended to defraud or cheat someone when he or she did this.

Special Considerations

  • Even though intent is an element, “only minimal circumstantial evidence is required” as proof “because it is difficult to prove an actor’s state of mind.”
  • It was irrelevant whether the victim was actually defrauded; that is not an element of the offense.

Penalty

  • First violation: 5-year felony and/or $25,000
  • Second violation: 10-year felony and/or $50,000
  • Third or subsequent violation: 15-year felony and/or $75,000

To prove this charge, the prosecutor must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The accused used or attempted to use the personal identifying information of the complainant; and 
  2. The accused did this with the intent to commit an illegal act.

Special Considerations

  • Even though intent is an element, “only minimal circumstantial evidence is required” as proof “because it is difficult to prove an actor’s state of mind.”

Penalty

To prove this charge, the prosecutor must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The accused used or attempted to use the personal identifying information of the complainant;
  2. The accused did this with the intent to obtain credit, goods, services, money, property, a vital record, a confidential telephone record, medical records or information, or employment;
  3. The accused intended to defraud or cheat someone when he or she did this.

Special Considerations

Even though intent is an element, “only minimal circumstantial evidence is required” as proof “because it is difficult to prove an actor’s state of mind.”

It was irrelevant whether the victim was actually defrauded; that is not an element of the offense.

Penalty

  • First violation: 5-year felony and/or $25,000
  • Second violation: 10-year felony and/or $50,000
  • Third or subsequent violation: 15-year felony and/or $75,000

What will we do as your Defense Attorney?

These are very serious charges that require an aggressive defense in which all of the facts of the case are thoroughly reviewed. We listen carefully to what our clients tell us in order to both put together a strong defense and mitigate sentencing. We do this in several ways.

First, we never take for granted that the police report is an accurate representation of the incident in question. These reports are usually very biased towards convicting the accused, and are therefore often filled with inconsistencies. We use our client’s testimony, research, private investigators, and crime scene visits to poke holes in the prosecution’s case, and ultimately, prove your innocence or argue that the facts are so that a lenient sentence is appropriate. We always visit the scene of the crime. It’s the only way to learn details showing that the police investigation was flawed or that the prosecution’s eyewitness could not have seen what he or she claims.

With Financial & Fraud crimes, it all comes down to proving that the accused acted knowingly and with the intent to defraud. More times than not, the prosecution will attempt to infer intent from circumstanial evidence. However, it is our job to emphasize that this evidence proves nothing and get creative with how we poke holes in the prosecution’s case.

Convincing the prosecutor to reduce the charge should always be on the table.  Also important is to show that the accused has taken steps to right his or her wrong. We will advise you on how best to do this.  In other words, the punishment must fit the crime or we will not stand for it. 

Schedule a free consultation!

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Why work with us?

  • Tenacious representation for an AFFORDABLE PRICE!
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  • Educated on Modern Issues & Laws!

Email: kerrylawpllc@gmail.com

Tel: (734) 263-1193

Address: 214 S. Main St. Ste 200
                 Ann Arbor MI, 48104
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