Firstly, you should know the meaning of fraud. Fraud is often explained as criminal or wrongful deceit with the intent to make personal or financial gain. Fraud is essentially the same thing as theft, though it does not involve violence but rather secrecy and deception. As such, fraud is considered what is known as a “white collar” crime.
To understand the types of fraud you may have questions such as these:
Such fraud often means overcharging the federal government for healthcare products or services. Also known as healthcare fraud, Medicare or Medicaid fraud frequently involves compounding pharmacies, which handle massive numbers of patients’ needs. Indeed, charges of compounding pharmacy fraud have become common in recent days, and defendants often need a skilled healthcare fraud lawyer, which we can provide.
This type of fraud involves an individual’s personal identifying details (i.e. name, age, Social Security number, etc.) being stolen for misuse by others.
Related to identity theft is identity fraud. This fraud occurs when the stolen personal details of someone’s identity are used to commit a specific crime of fraud, such as falsely or fraudulently charging a person’s accounts for products or services which someone else received.
Also an element of identity fraud, credit card fraud involves using a credit card or debit card fraudulently as a source of funds in transactions for goods or services. The thief receives goods or services without paying, or may take funds from an account without authorization.
Intellectual property can include intangible yet still very valuable things such as trademarks, copyrights and patents. Theft of such property by using it without authorization is a form of fraud.
As for trade secrets, they typically involve secret techniques, formulas, patterns, methods, practices, processes, designs, instruments, plans or devices that a company uses to provide its goods or services. When revealed, this kind of confidential business information can give competitors an unfair advantage. Theft of trade secrets is another form of fraud.
Also known in slang terms as “cooking the books,” financial statement fraud involves intentionally misrepresenting a business’ or enterprise’s financial condition by altering the actual numbers. Providing incorrect amounts in financial statements by falsifying income, cash flow or balance sheet numbers is done to deceive users of such statements, such as investors, and that constitutes financial statement fraud.
A historically enormous case of financial statement fraud involved the Houston-based Enron Corporation.
This form of fraud largely involves an employee using his or her employer’s trust as a means to steal money, property or other resources in their care. Such misappropriation of an employer’s assets constitutes the theft or larceny known as embezzlement.
Much like embezzlement, this white collar crime involves a worker or third party taking advantage of an employer’s or business’ confidence in order to steal or misappropriate assets or resources. Also known as “insider fraud,” asset misappropriation often involves a trustee of a trust, a public official overseeing public assets or an administrator or executive of a dead person’s estate. In each case, such persons use their responsibility for handling assets to take advantage and misappropriate them.
From paper clips to computers, misuse of company assets involves an employee misusing company-owned equipment or stealing outright. Such fraud can be performed by anyone, from third parties to employees to company directors — in other words, anyone who’s entrusted to safeguard and manage an enterprise’s interests and assets but instead misuses them for their own purposes.
As the name suggests, this financial crime involves the “cleaning” of so-called “dirty” money. It means money or assets have been obtained illegally, and the profits are maneuvered in a way to evade any link to a crime. Often, that involves transferring illegally obtained assets through foreign banks, “shell” companies or legitimate businesses. In that way the origins of the ill-gained assets are obscured and they appear to be lawful and legitimate.
Also known as “income tax fraud,” this crime involves a deliberate effort to evade tax laws or defraud the Internal Revenue Service. Such tax fraud occurs when a business or individual intentionally fails to pay taxes owed or deliberately fails to file an income tax return.
Deliberately underpaying taxes owed or failing to pay them at all is known as tax evasion. It’s often done by falsifying reports to indicate fewer or no taxes are owed. This can be done by corporations or by individuals filing their personal income tax return. In each case, evasion of taxes is another form of fraud, for which punishments can be severe.
When failing to pay taxes, it’s not good enough to claim — as comedian Steve Martin once did in a stand-up comedy routine — that you simply “forgot.” Taxes owed must be paid, or else failure to pay them is illegal tax evasion.
This offense involves an organization or individual taking money from the government to which they were not entitled. Such theft can take many forms. For instance, a former client of the Neal Davis Law Firm faced a federal charge of theft of public money for keeping 20 years’ worth of a dead uncle’s pension checks, yet he received a lenient punishment of probation, not prison with our help.
Also sometimes known as “accounting fraud,” bank fraud involves illegally obtaining assets, funds or other property held or owned by a bank or financial institution, or gaining funds from depositors of such an institution by fraudulently posing as a bank officer.
This type of fraud can work both ways. Insurance fraud may mean an insurance policy holder uses fraudulent means to claim more payments than those to which he or she is entitled under their policy. Or it may mean an insurance company deliberately denies or underpays benefits that are due to the customer or policy holder.
Bribery often involves government agencies or public services in which someone is given money or gifts as motivation to provide favorable treatment, influence or actions that the giver otherwise wouldn’t receive. For instance, giving someone in government money in order to receive a federal contract is considered bribery. The giver and the recipient both commit fraud; giving or taking a bribe are both fraud.
Racketeering involves criminal organizations running illegal businesses — or “rackets” — or using legitimate businesses to embezzle or launder their illegally gained funds.
Counterfeiting, or fraudulently representing an asset, involves more than illegally printing money. It can also involve providing fraudulent or counterfeit goods or services. Creating, selling or presenting fakes or imitations, and claiming they are the real thing, constitutes the fraud of counterfeiting.
Conspiracy involves a group of people (two or more) scheming or plotting in secret to do something unlawful. A former client of the Neal Davis Law Firm faced a federal charge of conspiracy and was given probation, not prison, by the federal court.
We hope these definitions of many types of fraud have helped inform you. If you need more help, including specific legal advice about a charge of fraud or another white collar crime you face, contact the Neal Davis Law Firm for a free legal review of your case.