Numerous types of illegal transactions or activities receive attention at the state level in Minnesota. There are often federal laws that apply to certain circumstances, as well, such as drug crimes involving specific amounts of heavy narcotics like heroin or fentanyl. Many people don’t realize that everyday transactions like banking, shopping or seeking medical attention can also become a central focus of criminal charges, especially if you are a suspect of fraud.
If someone has accused you of fraud, it is possible to face criminal charges, as well as a lawsuit in civil court. Because the term “fraud” refers to a broad category of offenses, it’s important to understand the exact allegations so that you can explore whatever options may be available to formulate a defense strategy.
Identity theft is a common type of fraud
Stealing someone’s identity is a type of fraud that often leads to criminal charges, as well as civil litigation. There are many ways to steal someone’s identity. Examples include using someone’s ID card if you’re underage and trying to buy alcohol, accessing a bank account by using someone’s ID information or using a person’s Social Security number or credit card information for personal gain.
Tax evasion and other financial crimes may constitute fraud
As an adult living in Minnesota or elsewhere, you are responsible for paying taxes. When you submit a tax form, you must sign or check a box attesting that all information you have provided is true. If you intentionally avoid paying taxes by falsifying information on your tax returns, you are committing fraud. Many other financial crimes constitute fraud, as well, such as tricking people into investing in a company that doesn’t exist.
Fraud often involves health care professionals
If you’re a licensed medical professional, there are many issues that could lead to fraud charges against you. Such issues include overbilling, billing for unnecessary procedures or procedures or treatments that never occurred, or writing unnecessary prescriptions for opioid drugs. You might also face criminal charges if someone accuses you of paying for referrals.
There are many crimes and issues that constitute fraud. If you are facing criminal charges in Minnesota or someone has filed a legal claim against you in civil court, it is best to seek guidance and support before proceedings begin. In criminal court, there may be stiff penalties under conviction, including losing your license to practice medicine or going to jail. The more you learn about available defense strategies, the more likely you will be able to achieve a positive outcome in court.