Arja Shah has a reputation for a passionate, personalized, service to her clients. Over the years, hundreds of individuals across Phoenix and surrounding areas have been defended by Arja in court. Hundreds of which, have seen first-hand, the intensity and aggressiveness with which Arja approached their cases led to results that were favorable to them.
Arja knows the law like the back of her hand, and that knowledge is serving her well, but she also knows the importance of being there for clients. By working hands on with each client, Arja is able to provide the best defense, with a personalized experience you simply cannot find anywhere else. Arja helps her clients steer clear of the life-altering consequences that typically come with a conviction.
As a testament to her abilities as an attorney, Arja was selected as one of The National Top 100 Trial Lawyers and made it to the list of Top 100 Attorneys by Phoenix Magazine in 2015 and 2016.
Possible penalties for fraud
In the state of Arizona, there is a broad range of crimes that fall under the umbrella of fraud. A fraudulent scheme may involve health care fraud, money laundering, bank fraud, mortgage fraud, forgery, extortion, bribery and more. These types of crimes are categorized as white collar crimes. A.R.S. 13-2310 outlines what constitutes fraud and its consequences. For example:
- It defines fraud as any person who knowingly benefits from another individual or business entity under false pretenses
- The first offense of a class 2 felony fraud can result in simple probation to 13 years in jail
- A benefit of $100,000+ in a fraudulent scheme excludes one from parole or pardon
- Two prior felony convictions plus a fraud conviction can add up to 35 years in prison
Common types of fraud
There are numerous types of fraud that are punishable under Arizona and United States law. If you are charged with any of the crimes listed below, you will need to have the best fraud attorney Phoenix has to offer fighting for your rights.
Bank fraud – Illegally receiving money or assets from a bank or any financial institution constitutes bank fraud. Unlike bank robbery, acts of bank fraud are committed discreetly, hoping it would avoid any kind of attention until the perpetrator has gotten away.
Mail fraud – Widely regarded as one of the most common federal criminal charges, mail fraud involves the use of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) or a private interstate carrier to obtain someone else’s money or property under false pretenses. Selling, distributing, exchanging, supplying, or using counterfeits through the mail may also constitute mail fraud.
Identity theft – Along with identity fraud, identity theft is a term used to describe all types of crime that involve wrongfully obtaining and using an individual’s personal data such as social security number mainly for economic gain.
Marriage fraud – When a U.S citizen receives payment for marrying a foreign national as a way for the latter to obtain citizenship, he or she may be charged with marriage fraud, which is often committed to dodge immigration laws. The same goes for an American citizen marrying a foreign national as a favor, and mail-order marriages.
Health fraud – People accused of health fraud are usually those who produce, market, and sell products that are being touted as cures or treatments for disease and health conditions even when they haven’t been proven to be safe and effective.
Tax fraud—Any effort by an individual to reduce their tax liability or avoid payment altogether by putting inaccurate or false information on tax returns regarding their income, profits, or deductions can be considered tax fraud.
Healthcare fraud – Includes doctors and other healthcare providers charging for medical services, such as Medicaid, not rendered or using someone else’s insurance card for medical services. Medicaid and Medicare fraud are serious federal felonies. Healthcare professionals are often confused by overly complicated rules and may be falsely charged with upcoding, billing fraud and charging for unnecessary medical services. You might not even know that you’re under investigation for fraud until the FBI shows up at your office or clinic.
Forgery – A person can be accused of forgery if he or she is caught falsely making, altering, or imitating documents, signatures, works of art, and other unique items with the intent to defraud.
Mortgage fraud – Intentionally presenting false information, or omitting important details, on a mortgage loan application with the intention to obtain a larger loan amount than would have been granted if the information were accurate constitutes mortgage fraud.
Check fraud– Simply put, check fraud involves using fake, forged, or deceptive checks to deprive another person or entity of funds. Signing a check with another person’s name, forging a signature on a check, drawing up a fake check, or writing bad checks on purpose are all acts that can be categorized as check fraud.
Bankruptcy fraud – An individual risks being accused of bankruptcy fraud if he or she creates a false document, destroys or withholds documents, or hides property from bankruptcy court.
Defenses for Fraudulent Crimes
The key to successfully defending a fraudulent charge is to prove that the defendant did not knowingly commit the offense. For example, you may be accused of fraud by another party due to a poor investment. The plaintiff may allege that you deliberately misinformed them. To defend a person accused of fraud, a fraud lawyer Arizona residents can fully trust will do a thorough investigation of all the facts. This includes interviewing the victim to uncover inconsistencies and interviewing material witnesses. A criminal defense attorney in Arizona may negotiate a civil disposition to withdraw charges or for a plea bargain with no prison time. Other defense strategies include forensic flaws in the evidence, violation of constitutional rights, non-reading of Miranda rights, and law enforcement coercion in a confession.
If you’ve been charged with involvement in a fraudulent scheme, it’s important to hire legal counsel early in the proceedings. Learning that you are involved in a fraud investigation can come as a surprise. Taking a proactive approach and hiring an attorney early on in the investigative stage can prevent formal charges from being filed. As a matter of fact, it can mean the difference between living life as usual or living life in a jail cell. Give Arja a call directly at (602) 888-0369 for a free consultation