The term “scheme to defraud” is defined as an ongoing course of conduct with intent to defraud one or more persons.
When charged as an organized scheme to defraud, multiple acts become lesser included offenses, For example, if someone tricks several people into purchasing a bicycle when there is no bicycle, the offender could be charged with a scheme to defraud.
Florida Statute Section 817.034(3)(d), states, states that a scheme to defraud “means a systematic, ongoing course of conduct with intent to defraud one or more persons, or with intent to obtain property from one or more persons by false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises or willful misrepresentations of a future act.”
This offense allows prosecutors to aggregate a series of small fraudulent acts into one larger crime. The crime can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony offense depending on the value of the property obtained.
What Proof Is Required?
Florida Statute Section 817.034(4)(a)1,2,3, requires proof of the following elements:
- The defendant engaged in a systematic, ongoing course of conduct;
- The defendant intended to defraud one or more persons, or intended to obtain property from one or more persons; and
- The act was committed by false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises or willful misrepresentations of a future act.
What Are the Penalties for Organized Scheme to Defraud?
If the defendant is charged with organized fraud, then the aggregate value of the property obtained determines the penalties and punishments as follows:
- If the aggregate value of the property obtained was less than $20,000, the offense is a third-degree felony;
- If the aggregate value of the property obtained was $20,000 or more but less than $50,000, the offense is a second-degree felony; and
- If the aggregate value of the property obtained was $50,000 or more, the offense is a first-degree felony.
Should I Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer?
If you or a loved one is under investigation or have been arrested for an organized scheme to defraud, it is important that you discuss your situation with an experienced criminal defense attorney to learn about your rights and options. The laws are complex. An experienced defense attorney may be able to build a defense to any state’s case.
A skilled and experienced attorney will be able to research the facts and the law and prepare an informed defense to the charges. Good attorneys have the knowledge, experience, and resources necessary to obtain the best possible outcome. Hire an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. Why? Because experience counts.
If you or a loved one finds yourself in an organized scheme to defraud a situation, you or your loved one may be facing a long prison sentence. Not every attorney has the qualifications and experience to handle a scheme to defraud a case. You need a qualified and experienced defense lawyer to fight for your rights. Contact a criminal defense attorney immediately to safeguard your rights.
Why Fernandez & Hernandez?
The attorneys at Fernandez and Hernandez have experience defending organized schemes to defraud charges and will work vigorously to protect your rights, and in many cases, may be able to prevent a conviction or resolve the matter without incarceration. The attorneys at Fernandez & Hernandez are bilingual and will provide a free and confidential consultation so that you can discuss your case. The criminal defense attorneys at Fernandez & Hernandez can help you understand all of your options. We offer free attorney consultations for legal advice, so call us today at (813) 229-5353 or simply go online to fill out and send us your online form.
Criminal defense attorney Daniel J. Fernandez will work diligently to get your situation resolved favorably. Attorney Daniel J. Fernandez can help guide you through the system and may be able to get a favorable resolution to your problem. Our commitment to clients is to get the best case outcome possible for them, hands down. We have worked hard to do that, earning hundreds of 5-star Google reviews.
If you or a loved one needs legal assistance with an organized scheme to defraud case call Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney Daniel J. Fernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez at 813 229-5353.