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Various types of fraud charges and how to protect your rights

Like most Indiana residents, you probably carry out many duties or engage in various activities on a regular basis that have to do with finances. Whether it's simply managing your own household budget, filing taxes or balancing a checking or savings account, handling money or juggling financial numbers is a typical part of life for most adults. If you happen to own a business, then you likely have firsthand experience in resolving financial problems and overcoming financial challenges of all kinds.

Sometimes, clerical errors, oversights or other mishaps can create complicated financial situations that take a lot of time and effort to rectify. If such circumstances lead to facing some type of fraud charges, your entire livelihood, reputation and freedom may be at stake. Just because prosecutors charge you with a fraud crime does not necessarily mean the court will convict you of the same. There are often many defense options available to fight such charges in court.

You have to understand it before you can fight it

The term, "fraud" is very broad in that there are many categories or legal definitions that describe various types of crime, all of which fall under the same fraud title. The following information helps differentiate among the types of fraud, which is important to understand if you hope to be able to combat prosecution tactics to avoid conviction:

  • Tax evasion is one of the most common types of fraud. If the government thinks you have submitted false information or done something to avoid your tax obligations, you may wind up facing tax fraud charges in court. Evasion refers to the specific act of avoidance, whereas other types of tax fraud involve falsifying information on your tax forms in order to get more money back than the amount to which you are legally entitled.
  • Embezzlement crimes are also types of fraud. Such crimes occur when employees wrongfully transfer money from a company's coffers into a personal account. Any type of misappropriation of funds in a professional relationship, such as employee/employer or financial adviser/client, falls under this category. 
  • Laundering is a fraud term that may make you think of washing clothes. It's called that because it occurs when dirty money -- money obtained by illegal means -- is 'washed' clean by filtering through bank accounts and into legitimate streams of money by using it to make legitimate purchases, thus hiding it in assets obtained through those purchases.

If you learn that you are the subject of an official criminal investigation regarding possible fraud or other white collar crimes, you do not have to answer any questions without appropriate legal representation.

Just remember that the burden of proof lies with the prosecution, and the law gives you the right to endeavor to present as strong a defense as possible to try to avoid conviction. 

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