If you are accused of participating in a scheme to defraud others for financial gain, you could face significant penalties, including fines, jail time, and restitution. Restitution involves compensating the victims for their financial losses.
Organized fraud usually involves multiple people working together to intentionally mislead individuals or entities so they can obtain property, money or other valuable items. It may involve an investment program, a marketing scam, or another type of white-collar crime, for example.
Because the scheme is made to appear legitimate, the people who are targeted can lose thousands of dollars of assets before they realize they are a victim. Victims may no longer trust the integrity of the financial system or their judgment after losing money.
Penalties and defenses
If you are convicted of participating in a scheme to defraud, you will likely be ordered to pay fines. This amount can vary depending on the offense and how long you have been involved in it. You may be sentenced to prison for several years, required to forfeit assets that you gained during the fraudulent activity, and you could be subject to civil lawsuits from victims.
There may be defenses available to you. If you can prove that you did not have the intent to defraud or if there is not enough evidence to find you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, you may use that as a defense.
You may also have a defense of mistaken identity if you were confused for another person or misidentified. The defenses will vary depending on the circumstances of your case.