Often, white-collar crimes are looked upon as victimless offenses. However, fraud impacts many people across the world every year.
In Colorado alone, the Attorney General’s Office estimates that the costs of fraud amount to hundreds of millions each year. Consequently, the more common types of fraud are worth further consideration.
Insurance fraud occurs fairly frequently in Colorado. Examples of this offense include providing false statements or documentation to an insurance company while making a claim. Another frequent example relates to vehicle auto insurance fraud. Individuals may be tempted to stage a crash to claim damages from insurance brokers.
Misdemeanor fraud charges can result in months of jail time and/or fines up to $5,000. More serious felony offenses may lead to years of jail time as well as fines up to $100,000.
Identity theft is arguably the most common type of fraud offense. This crime affected up to 47% of Americans in 2020, with losses exceeding $712 billion.
In Colorado, making a payment by knowingly using someone else’s information would be classified as identity fraud. For example, using someone else’s credit card to buy goods could result in criminal liability for fraud.
This charge is taken seriously and is a class 4 felony offense. As a result, penalties may include up to six years in prison as well as fines amounting to $500,000.
Often, forgery is associated exclusively with counterfeit money. However, this is not always the case. Forgery can relate to any type of falsified document, including wills, unemployment applications or tax returns. Simply possessing the tools required to create false documents is a serious offense and can result in prison time as well as fines up to $100,000.
Knowing the different types of fraud offenses is in your best interests. If you find yourself facing fraud charges, it is vital that you understand your legal rights and protections.