Fraud

Fraud Part 3: Identity Theft

It's important to know who you are, to know who you aren't, and to know the difference, especially when it comes to using I.D.

According to California Penal Code Section 529, you may be guilty of false Impersonation when:

1. You falsely impersonate someone by pretending to be them in a public or private capacity; AND

2. Perform an act that might cause that person to become liable to a lawsuit, prosecution, become obligated to pay money or gain some personal benefit for yourself by impersonating someone else.

A violation of CPC 529 is a “wobbler” in California. This means that it can be charged as a Misdemeanor or a Felony depending on factors such as how much was allegedly stolen. A misdemeanor offense for false impersonation carries a maximum punishment of up to 1 year in jail and/or a $10,000 fine. A felony offense carries a maximum exposure of up to 3 years in jail in addition to a possible $10,000 fine. This is also considered a "crime of moral turpitude" and will likely have an impact on future job prospects, as well as State and Federal licenses.

In short, carrying an I.D. of a person that looks like you and then telling others that you are the person in the I.D. can get you into trouble. That trouble gets worse if you use the I.D. to obtain something that does not belong to you.

If you or a loved one are Arrested or Charged with Identity Theft, reach out to The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian at www.Kazarianatlaw.com for a free consultation.

Arrested or Charged with Fraud: Part 2 - Forgery

Fraud can occur when you say or do something fraudulent or false, but it can also occur when you create a document which isn't what it pretends to be. Forgery is the action of creating or producing a false document, signature, banknote or work of art and is considered a type of fraud. 

Some of the more common examples of forgery include: 

CPC 470(a) - forging or counterfeiting a California Driver’s License or ID Card. This could include changing the birth date, name or physical description, photograph or expiration date on any government issued I.D. card.

CPC 470(b) - makes it illegal to display or even possess a forged or counterfeit license.

Because it is a type of fraud, Forgery is considered a "crime of moral turpitude" and can greatly affect your future prospects for employment as well as create difficulties in applying for state licenses. 

If you or someone you know is charged with Forgery, don't wait; contact The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian for a free consultation by visiting www.kazarianatlaw.com.

Arrested or Charged with Fraud: Part One - Theft by Fraud and CPC 484

The crime of “Fraud” in the State of California boils down two basic elements:

  1. A fraudulent or deceptive act which either results in an undeserved benefit; OR
  2. Which may also cause harm or loss to another person.

Essentially, doing or saying something to deceive another person, which results in your gain and/or a victim’s loss could be considered fraud.  However, there are a vast number of crimes that come about when a person commits an act commonly known as “fraud.”  By far, the most common type of fraud charges which are filed in California are theft related fraud charges.  The most common charge for theft is Penal Code Section 484(a), which states:

CPC 484(a) “every person….who shall knowingly and designedly, by any false or fraudulent representation or pretense, defraud any other person of money, labor, or real or personal property…is guilty of theft.”

So, if you were to walk into a store, steal some merchandise off the shelf and walk out without paying, you have committed a theft.

If you take that same item and tell a store employee, “I already paid” as you breeze out the door, you have committed the same crime by a different means and could face the exact same punishment!

However it happened, if you are arrested and find yourself charged with fraud, theft, or any other crime, contact The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian for a free consultation at (855) 918-4253 .  For more information on these and other criminal charges, stay tuned to www.kazarianatlaw.com

At First Glance, Forgery Might Seem Like A Minor Crime

Everyone has seen at least one more movie where a person forges a document to help achieve success in a mission, i.e. any of the James Bond or Ocean's 11 movies, where forgery is seen as a means to an end of a big dramatic pay off. At first glance, forgery might seem like a minor crime, as depicted in movies, where someone creates a fake driver's license. Yet, there are various forms and degrees of forgery. Forgery is much more serious in reality without all the glitz and glamour of Hollywood and can have serious consequences.

Penal Code 470 defines forgery as: Every person who, with intent to defraud, signs the name of another person or a fictitious person on any official documents is guilty of forgery. The person could also be guilty if there was intent to defraud by creating, altering, corrupting, or falsifying any official document. Official documents can be anything from a check, bond, or bank bill to a driver's license, and medical records amongst others. There are also various degrees of forgery that would range from a misdemeanor to a felony. Any person with the intent to create a medical record by forgery would be guilty of a misdemeanor; as opposed to a person who processes a check (real or fictitious) with the intent to defraud a person could be guilty of felony forgery. If convicted of misdemeanor forgery the crime is punishable by incarceration of up to one year in jail. If convicted of a felony then the punishment is up to three years.

There are defenses in which the person may be excused of forgery such as:

1. Lack of intent. Lack of intent generally means the person was mistaken and did not intend to sign or create an official document, and the intent was based on a misunderstanding.

2. A document not depriving anyone of their legal right is a document that doesn't deprive someone else of their money or property. Creating a fake resume is not a document that deprives someone else of their rights. Compare this to creating a fake check that deprives the government, business or person of money.

3. The person was falsely accused and had no specific intent or action associated with the forgery.

Ultimately, the issue depends on the intent of the person creating the document and what kind of official document is alleged to have had forgery pertain. Forgery can be confusing to many people so if you have been cited, detained or arrested for any form of forgery and need clarification, it is imperative that you receive competent legal advice immediately.

After being cited, detained or arrested call The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian at (714) 336-5303 today to set up a free consultation with an attorney who can give you clear and concise information about your rights.