Mussin & Scanland, PLLC
COMMON MICHIGAN FRAUD CHARGES
Fraud is a broad term that generally involves criminal offenses relying on deception, misrepresentation, or trickery in order to obtain money or property you would not have been able to obtain by other than fraudulent means.
Michigan has many statutes differentiating different kinds of fraud offenses, many of which, are serious felonies.
Among the most common types of fraud charges seen in Michigan courts are:
Forgery — Forgery can take a number of forms in Michigan, including forging credit or debit cards, forging checks, or forging signatures on documents to obtain money or property. The penalties for forgery vary based on the nature of the offense, but often are felonies punishable by imprisonment.
Credit Card Theft — It is a felony to steal someone else’s credit or debt card, also known in Michigan law as a financial transaction device, or to use a stolen credit or debit card.
Possession of Another’s Credit Card with Intent to Use — It is also a felony to possess someone else’s credit or debit card with the intent to use it without that person’s consent.
Possession of a Fake or Altered Credit Card — It’s a felony to knowingly possess a forged or altered credit or debit card. You may be sentenced to prison and costly fines if convicted.
Insurance Fraud — It’s a felony in Michigan to use false information to obtain an insurance policy or payment of an insurance claim. A conviction may result in years in prison and tens of thousands of dollars in fines.
Fraud charges can be complicated and overwhelming for the person facing the charge. In Michigan, the penalties for conviction of an offense such as identity theft, credit card theft, or forgery can be severe. A conviction can affect your life for years to come.
Bribery charges are unique because there is always a public official who is either the accused citizen or the government's main witness. However, one must determine whether a crime actually occurred. Even if the prosecution can show the offer or exchange of money to a government official, they may not be able to prove a bribe occurred.
Fraud charges can be complicated and overwhelming for the person facing the charge. In Michigan, the penalties for
conviction of an offense such as identity theft, credit card theft, or forgery can be severe. A conviction can affect your
life for years to come.
Some of the possible consequences you could potentially face include:
A possible jail/prison sentence;
Payment of expensive fines, court costs, or restitution;
A permanent criminal record, which can effect employment or your ability to rent a home, or even obtain a student loan;
Loss of a professional license;
And your immigration status may be affected-if you’re a non-U.S. citizen, this could include
the loss of your immigration visa or green card, denial of your citizenship application, or deportation to your native country
In addition to the possibility of criminal penalties you could face, there is also the social stigma attached to one who has been charged with a criminal offense. Family members or potential employers may be reluctant to trust, and subsequently hire, you because you have been charged with an offense involving deception or misrepresentation — and important relationships in your life may be altered, especially if the alleged fraud victim is someone you know.
If you are being investigated or have been arrested for a fraud offense, your situation may feel hopeless. However, with the help of a good criminal defense lawyer, you may have a chance at fighting the charge and preserving your career, your relationships, and your future.