In Ohio, fraud refers to an action undertaken using trickery or scams to gain an advantage over another person or party. For example, in the case of health insurance fraud, an individual might exaggerate certain claims or issue false reports in an attempt to gain an advantage over the insurance provider, which leads to the fraudster receiving a higher payout.
In most cases, fraud is an act that is committed for financial gain, and people engage in this behavior in Ohio as a way to earn a benefit that they do not deserve, or have any right to. In Ohio, people may also be charged with fraud if they act in such a way that they might trick another individual, and that individual experiences harm or loss as a result.
There are a substantial number of different fraudulent acts that might be penalized in the state of Ohio, from tax fraud, to medical fraud, and insurance fraud. The penalties that any criminal receives as a result of a conviction will depend on a variety of factors, including the value of the fraud in question, and the history of that individual in regards to criminal behavior.
Laws and Penalties
In Ohio and many other states, fraud is known as a white-collar crime and a serious offense. In most circumstances, a conviction of fraud will lead to punishments that involve both a sentence of mandatory jail time, and a high fine. In some circumstances, the crimes associated with fraud may also be added to the charge to levy a higher penalty. For example, those who commit fraud and blackmail, or fraud and racketeering, will have much higher penalty levels.
Fraud crimes are penalized using Penal Code 470 for PC forgery law, and Penal Code 118 PC perjury law. As wobbler offenses, many acts of fraud are charged either as a misdemeanor, or a felony, depending on the specific opinion of the persecutor in question.
How an individual convicted of fraud is charged in the state of Ohio will depend on a variety of factors, including that person’s criminal history, the facts of the case, and the value of the fraud in question. There are certain acts of fraud in Ohio that might be determined as an automatic felony, such as cyber fraud. Cyber fraud is generally considered as a federal crime, and can be prosecuted at a much higher level than other forms of fraud.
Typically, the punishments for fraud include a combination of jail time, fines, and the seizure of money or property that were earned as a result of the fraudulent activity.
It is possible to launch a defense against an accusation of fraud with the help of a highly experienced attorney. While these defenses might not always result in the accused being exonerated of any convictions, they can sometimes serve to lower a sentence or reduce the severity of the penalty that is imposed. Some of the most common defenses used in fraud cases within California include:
- Lack of intent – If the lawyer can prove that the accused did not have any intention to defraud anyone with their actions, then they may be able to earn a not-guilty assessment. For instance, in the case of credit card or medical insurance fraud, it could be possible to show that the medical card or credit card the person was using was used by accident, and without any knowledge that it may have been stolen, or belonged to someone else. In some instances, it is also possible to argue that the card was used with the permission of the person to whom it actually belonged.
- Mistaken identity – One of the most common defenses in regards to any crime is to suggest that you are not the person who committed the crime in the first place, or that you have been convicted falsely. This defense requires proof to show that the defendant had nothing to do with the fraudulent act he or she is being charged with.
- Entrapment – Finally, you might be able to argue that you were a victim of legal entrapment. In these circumstances, you will again need to prove that law enforcement officials lured you into an act of fraud, and forced you to commit that act.
Statute of Limitations
At this time, the statute of limitations for fraud in Ohio demands that a general act of fraud should be filed within ten years since the act is discovered. However, because fraud is such a varied topic in the realm of crime, the statute of limitations can vary according to the type of fraud that is committed.
Ohio Fraud Cases
- Ohio man evades imprisonment with plea agreement
- Columbus woman convicted of workers’ comp fraud
- Ohio man arrested in Israel and returned to Ohio to face food stamp fraud charges
- Warner Robins manager pleads guilty to wire fraud
- Greene County physician sentenced for Medicaid fraud, drug trafficking, theft, and allowing drug abuse