Title 7, Chapter 32 of the Texas Penal Code covers criminal fraud offenses. While there are many varieties of fraud, a fraud offense always involves some sort of deceit or dishonesty with intent of personal or financial gain. Fraud is not all that different than theft, except that it usually concerns money and often does not have any element of force, violence, or physical taking or properly that may be present in a theft offense. For this reason, fraud is often referred to as a white collar crime.
One common type of fraud under Texas law is healthcare fraud. In many cases, healthcare fraud involves the Medicaid or Medicare programs, but also may involve private insurance companies in some cases. Healthcare fraud might occur when medical practitioners overbill these programs to gain excess funds for their own gain, or when practitioners create patient identities to allow them to submit false claims for services.
Identity theft is another common type of fraud that can occur in many different ways. As technology has advanced, so has the ability of individuals to commit identity theft by electronic means. Identity theft occurs when individuals steal others personally identifying information, such as name, address, date of birth, and Social Security number, in order to apply for loans, credit cards, and other fraudulent financial documents that give them access to money. Unlawfully assuming another’s identity also may allow them to run up existing credit cards and obtain money from the person’s bank accounts without their permission. Identity theft often overlaps with credit card and bank fraud.
Embezzlement and misappropriation of assets are other types of fraud that primarily involve an individual who abuses the trust placed in his by an employer or client by taking funds for their own personal gain. These offenses encompass situations in which a cashier skims money from the cash register, when a clerk forges business records in order to pocket utility payments from customers, or a financial advisor wrongfully uses a client’s assets for his or her own financial benefit.
The criminal defense lawyers of Peek & Toland have handled the legal defense of countless individuals who are facing criminal charges, including fraud offenses. We are here to protect your rights and advocate on your behalf in order to get the best outcome possible in your case. Call our office today at (512) 474-4445 to set up an appointment with our criminal defense attorneys today.