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Every day, hundreds of Texans are involved in one of the many financial crimes, either as an offender or a victim. Here are the five most common financial crimes that are perpetrated in the state of Texas.
Identity theft involves using someone else’s personal information for financial gain. This could involve stealing another individual’s credit card, Social Security Number (SSN) or banking information to make unauthorized purchases. It could also involve using another person’s identity to apply for a loan or credit card. Identity theft is considered a felony crime, and the degree of felony usually depends on the amount of money taken and the number of offenses committed.
When an individual tries to make an insurance claim for an incident that never occurred, this is considered a fraud crime. Likewise, grossly misstating the amount of damage in order to receive more money also constitutes fraud. Insurance fraud can happen with nearly any type of policy, including workers compensation to automobile coverage. It is also considered a felony that can result in stiff fines along with extended prison time.
Credit card abuse or fraud involves using someone else’s card to make purchases without their permission. The card does not have to be stolen in order for credit card fraud to happen. According to the Texas Penal Code, this crime is also considered to be a felony, and it can include a prison term of up to 10 years.
Embezzlement charges involve people misusing or misappropriating funds that are entrusted to them. Embezzlement normally occurs in businesses, government agencies or nonprofit organizations. It can also occur whenever someone is named the administrator of an estate. This crime could be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depending upon the circumstances. It can result in jail or prison time and fines in addition to the perpetrator being required to pay the money back.
Tax fraud can be either a state or federal offense depending on the circumstances. Some examples of tax fraud include failing to file a return, non-payment of taxes, failing to report certain income or taking deductions that are not authorized. Being found guilty of tax fraud will result in severe fines and penalties being added on to the original tax bill. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) can also seize property or garnish wages.
All of these crimes are very technical in nature, and they usually have a mountain of evidence attached to them. The services of a skilled white-collar crimes attorney are needed in order to sift through this evidence and look for discrepancies that could prove one’s innocence.
If you would like to learn more about any of these crimes, talk to Shahin Zamir at 713-223-8900.