West Palm Beach Fraud Defense Attorney David W. Olson
Fraud is a broad term referring to intentional conduct designed to obtain an unfair, illegal advantage over other individuals, businesses, government agencies and/or other entities. Such conduct usually results – or is intended to result – in financial and other harm to victims.
Fraud is generally a crime of theft in which the accused knowingly uses, obtains or endeavors to use or obtain the property of another, depriving the rightful owner of the use or benefit of their property…(1) Depending on the specific circumstances, fraud may violate one or more state and/or federal statutes. Depending on the specific details of the alleged fraud offense, it may be prosecuted at the state or federal level – or both.
Fraud: Criminal and Civil
Depending on the specific circumstances, fraud may be pursued criminally and/or civilly. In criminal cases, a conviction may potentially result in a lengthy prison sentence, a loss of personal rights and a permanent criminal record – to name a few of the many possible results. In civil cases, the plaintiff will generally pursue monetary compensation, restitution and the return of property, as well as other penalties. In some egregious cases, the court may order treble damages.
Attorney Olson Has More than Thirty Years of Experience Defending Clients Accused of Fraud
Fraud is an extremely serious criminal offense. It is crucial to hire an experienced and effective West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney who is thoroughly familiar with both Florida and federal law criminal procedure. As well, it is advantageous to consult with and hire an attorney as early in the case as possible so that he can immediately begin crafting an effective defense.
Attorney David W. Olson has more than 30 years of experience representing clients charged with serious felonies and misdemeanor, including fraud, theft, white collar crimes, money laundering, RICO charges, identity theft, drug charges, DUI, DUI manslaughter, weapons offenses, assault, murder, sex offenses, juvenile charges and more. If you were charged with fraud or any other offense, Attorney Olson offers a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case.
There are Many Different Types of Fraud
The following is a general list of fraud offenses:
- Bank fraud – falsifying documents, theft of funds, fraudulent loan applications, etc.
- Bankruptcy fraud – a serious federal violation
- Check fraud – may include illegal use of checking account to commit fraud, intentionally writing bad checks, non-payment of checks, etc.
- Computer and cyber crimes – various forms of fraud that includes offenses such as hacking, possession and distribution of illegal pornography, cyber stalking, cyberbullying, solicitation of minors and much more.
- Consumer fraud – a broad area in which consumers are targeted for financial harm.
- Counterfeiting – may occur in a vast number of areas, including counterfeiting applications, documents, personal identification, titles, currency, stock certificates, signatures, etc.
- Credit card fraud – fraudulent use of a credit card, in violation of the Fl. Credit Card Crime Act, Sec. 817.61, Fl. Stat.
- Embezzlement – theft and misappropriation of funds placed in one’s custody
- False advertising – selling items or goods based upon deceit
- Forgery – often coincides with counterfeiting; examples may include forged and fraudulent signatures, titles, documents, accounts, identification information, identification information, identity theft, “fraudulent use of personal identity information”
- Immigration fraud – falsification of documents and information with the goal of temporary or permanent citizenship or residency – background history, passports and birth certificates, marriage, work, scholastic history, criminal history, etc.
- Insurance fraud – overcharging, false claims, non-payment of valid claims, etc.
- Internet fraud
- Investment/stock fraud
- Healthcare fraud
- Misrepresentation in contracts or business or personal dealings
- Medicaid and Medicare fraud – often involves false claims by medical providers in order to defraud consumers and government payers
- Mortgage fraud – may be committed by the applicant, alleged property owner, mortgage company, etc.
- Motor vehicle sales, repair fraud – falsification of sales and repair documents for financial gain
- Ponzi schemes – an old scheme to reward early investors and defraud subsequent ones
- Property fraud – defrauding for property ownership, title or other property gain
- RICO Act – federal law to control, eliminate and prosecute organized crime
- Securities and stock fraud – unfair advantages from information not provided to the public, and other investors
- Telemarketing – false sales, overcharging, etc.
Specific Florida Statutes, Fraudulent Practices, Overview
Under Chapter 817, Florida Statutes, there are numerous Fraudulent Practices, under the heading of False Pretenses and Frauds, including, but not limited to the following examples:
- 817.03 – Making false statement to obtain property or credit.
- 817.034 – Florida Communications Fraud Act.
- 817.037 – Fraudulent refunds.
- 817.06 – Misleading advertisements prohibited; penalty.
- 817.15 – Making false entries, etc., on books of corporation.
- 817.16 – False reports, etc., by officers of banks, trust companies, etc., with intent to defraud.
- 817.19 – Fraudulent issue of certificate of stock of corporation.
- 817.22 – Making false invoice to defraud insurer.
- 817.233 – Burning to defraud the insurer.
- 817.234 – False and fraudulent insurance claims.
- 817.236 – False and fraudulent motor vehicle insurance application.
- 817.25 – Fraudulently marking or branding.
- 817.312 – Unlawful use of uniforms, medals, or insignia.
- 817.34 – False entries and statements by investment companies offering stock or security for sale.
- 817.39 – Simulated forms of court or legal process, or official seal or stationery; publication, sale or circulation unlawful; penalty.
- 817.411 – False information; advertising.
- 817.413 – Sale of used motor vehicle goods as new; penalty.
- 817.44 – Intentional false advertising prohibited.
- 817.481 – Credit cards; obtaining goods by use of false, expired, etc.; penalty.
- 817.4821 – Cellular telephone counterfeiting offenses.
- 817.483 – Transmission or publication of information regarding schemes, devices, means, or methods for theft of communication services.
- 817.52 – Obtaining vehicles with intent to defraud, failing to return hired vehicle, or tampering with mileage device of hired vehicle.
- 817.54 – Obtaining of mortgage, mortgage note, promissory note, etc., by false representation.
- 817.545 – Mortgage fraud.
- 817.566 – Misrepresentation of association with, or academic standing at, postsecondary educational institution.
- 817.568 – Criminal use of personal identification information.
Federal Fraud Statutes – Wire Fraud, Mail Fraud, Bank Fraud
When fraud is committed across state lines, the offense is generally prosecuted under these broad, far-reaching federal statutes. For example, if radio, television or other forms of transmissions are used to transmit a fraudulent advertisement, the offense may potentially be prosecuted under wire fraud, Sec. 1843, U.S.C.
- 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1343, Fraud by wire, radio or television
- 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1344, Bank fraud
- 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1348, Securities and commodities fraud.
What is a “Scheme to Defraud?”
A “scheme to defraud” is well-defined under Florida law and pertains to ongoing fraudulent conduct:
Scheme to Defraud Defined Under Fl. Stat. 817.034 (d):
- “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.”
Defending Against Fraud Charges
The burden to is always upon the prosecution, whether state or federal, to prove all the elements of the alleged offense(s) beyond a reasonable doubt. Fraud cases are often extremely complicated because there may be volumes of computer emails and texts, cellphone and telephone records, U.S. mail, items delivered by private carrier, video footage, photographs, documentation of all kinds, testimony, other forms of alleged evidence. The prosecution must prove that the accused engaged in intentional fraudulent conduct.
It is crucial to retain an attorney who understands both the Florida and federal criminal justice systems. There is simply no substitution for experience. An experienced criminal defense attorney understands how to present your case in a manner designed to obtain the most favorable outcome for you.
Attorney David Olson – Defending Thousands of Clients for More Than Thirty Years
Attorney Olson has represented thousands of clients in West Palm Beach and South Florida over a course of more than 30 years. While, of course, it is basically impossible to predict the results of a case beforehand, in many cases Attorney Olson’s clients have had results including:
- Not guilty verdicts (if/when the case goes to trial – a small minority of cases)
- Dropped charges
- Reduced charges
- Pretrial diversion programs
- Drug rehabilitation in lieu of incarceration
- Probation in lieu of incarceration
- Community service
- Courses, therapy, counseling
- Many other extremely favorable results and positive, happy lives.
Many first time offenders’ charges have been dismissed and now lead lives free of court sanctions.
Attorney David W. Olson, Recipient of Numerous Professional Honors
Attorney Olson has been recognized and honored by his peers in the legal community for his legal skills, professionalism and ethical conduct. A few of his professional awards include the following:
- “AV Preeminent,” Martindale Hubbell. This peer rating, for legal ability and ethical conduct, is granted to only a very small percentage – 5% – of all rated attorneys
- “Top 100 Trial Lawyers” – National Trial Lawyers
- “Ten Best Member” – American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys
- “Nations Top One Percent” – National Association of Distinguished Counsel
Attorney Olson is devoted to the practice of law and to helping his clients. David feels it is a sincere honor to represent his clients and to fight for their rights and their freedom. David is accessible, answers your questions, returns your phone calls, explains the details of the case to you and works with you. Here is a typical client endorsement:
David is an utmost professional in his field, where there are not too many that I know with the knowledge he carries. I’ve personally had David represent me and have referred him to many of my colleagues that have all subsequently raved about his honesty and integrity.
West Palm Beach and South Florida Fraud and Criminal Defense Attorney David W. Olson
Attorney Olson represents clients in the West Palm Beach area, including Palm Beach County, Broward County, Miami-Dade County and elsewhere throughout the state, including Boca Raton, Pompano Beach, Delray Beach and Fort Lauderdale. Spanish speaking clients are welcome and translation is provided. For a complimentary, confidential, no-obligation consultation, contact The Law Offices of David W. Olson at 561-833-8866.
Florida Statutes, Chapter 817 (2015)
Sec. 812.014, Theft (1)
18 U.S.C. Sec. 1341, Frauds and swindles
18 U.S.C. Sec. 1343, Fraud by wire, radio or television
18 U.S.C. Sec. 1344 Bank Fraud
18 U.S.C. Sec. 1348 Securities and commodities fraud.