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Aurora IL forgery defense attorneyIn Illinois, in its simplest terms, forgery can be understood as the knowing and willful falsification of signatures, documents, or objects. Once such items are falsified, the charges can be compounded by the propagation of these false items or other defrauding activities that lead to another individual or organization being misrepresented or losing something valuable, money or otherwise. Forgery and other deceptive practices are quite common, mainly because they can run the gamut, comprising a wide variety of defrauding actions.

Common Acts of Forgery and Illegal Deception

Among the many examples of forgery and other deceptive practices in Illinois are:

  1. Forged checks—If you sign someone else’s name on their check without their knowledge or approval, you are committing fraud.

  2. Faked mortgage documentation—Whether it be manipulating the data in your mortgage documents or faking your own personal information in a mortgage loan application, falsifying any of this serious documentation can result in severe legal penalties.

  3. Completing a credit card application for someone else without their knowledge—Pretending to be someone else and completing a credit card application on their behalf is illegal. You are misrepresenting them, possibly lowering their credit score and opening the door to identity theft.

  4. Sending checks from closed accounts—Not all bounced checks are created equal; some are from closed accounts. This is fraudulent activity when you know the account is closed but you still write the check.

  5. Misreporting your data on loan or other major financial applications—This includes claiming a greater income than you actually make, lying about employment or tax obligations, or lying about your ownership of property. Whatever the case may be, lying on major financial applications is deceptive and against the law.

  6. Art forgery—This is what many people think of when they think of forgery due to representation in popular culture. Attempting to pass off a falsified art piece as the work of a famous or popular artist is against the law.

  7. Prescription forgery—Drug addicts and patients with drug-seeking behavior might try to alter the prescriptions they are given by their doctors to get higher doses or more refills of painkillers and other legal drugs. They might even make fraudulent copies of blank prescription sheets and distribute them. Sometimes they might not even forge a signature, they merely manipulate what is there on the page and keep the same signature. This is still a forgery, though, and it is illegal.

  8. Faked forms of government identification—From a driver’s license to a passport, forms of identification have been falsified for years. This does not just include teenagers trying to drink before the age of 21, either. These faked documents can also affect immigration, international travel, and other important legal matters.

Contact a Kane County Forgery Defense Attorney

Defrauding anyone—a business or a person—through forgery and other deceptive practices is a crime. If you are facing charges of forgery or fraud, consider retaining representation from a knowledgeable and skilled Aurora IL deceptive practices defense lawyer. Call the team at the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola at 847-488-0889 for a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K17-3

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S221256711501206X/pdf?md5=ed3d56589b7831d0c3cc80cd0f6312db&pid=1-s2.0-S221256711501206X-main.pdf

https://www.thoughtco.com/the-crime-of-forgery-970864

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Posted on in Fraud

IL defense attorneyIllinois has two separate laws covering forgery and identity theft, however, they are both deceptive practices that are taken seriously due to the harm it causes a victim. Forgery is a crime that could lead to identity theft because it starts with using someone else’s signature to steal money, goods, or personal information. Both crimes are felony offenses, but for identity theft, punishments become more severe depending on the harm done to a victim.

What Is the Difference?

Illinois law says that someone commits forgery when they do any of the following with the intent to defraud a victim:

  • Make or alter a document that has false information
  • Deliver false documents with the knowledge that the information is false
  • Possession with intent to deliver false documents
  • Obtain, possess, or sell another person’s personal information unlawfully
  • Use an electronic device to create a false signature for another person
  • Writing the signature of another person to cash a check or purchase goods

These actions touch the shallow end of identity theft because once a person has the personal information of another, they have the tools they need to commit the more hurtful crime. Forgery is a Class 3 felony most of the time; charges are elevated to a Class 4 felony if a Universal Price Code Label is forged.

Identity theft is covered in greater detail by Illinois law. The crime is defined as someone using the personal and financial information of another in order to obtain money, goods, property, or anything else of value.

Once the alleged thief has the victim’s personal information, they commit identity theft by:

  • Using another’s information to commit another type of felony
  • Selling or distributing another person’s information to others who will commit another felony crime
  • Using another’s information even though they know the information is stolen
  • Using another’s information to portray themselves as the victim in order to commit a crime or obtain items of value
  • Using another’s information in order to gain access to more personal of financial information
  • Aggravated identity theft: stealing personal or financial information from a person over the age of 60 years

Like forgery, identity theft is a felony offense. Depending on the severity of the crime - the monetary value of goods stolen and the amount of previous identity theft convictions against a thief - the charges can range from Class 4 to Class X felonies.

Contact an Elgin, IL Criminal Defense Lawyer

Any deceptive crime can be harmful to a victim and can change the life of an alleged thief not only through a criminal record, but also their reputation in the community. If you are being accused of identity theft, hire a lawyer from the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola. Our lawyers have experience making sure a client’s rights are not being violated during a litigation. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County criminal defense lawyer, call our office at 847-488-0889.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K17-3

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K16-30

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Posted on in White Collar Crime

white collar crime, Elgin criminal defense attorneyNearly everyone has at least heard the term "white collar crime" before, but not everyone understands what it means. There are a wide variety of criminal activities that fall into the category of white collar crime, and they generally involve the theft of data and financial assets to be used for personal gain by the perpetrator. In many cases, the criminal does not even come into contact with their victim, and many victims of white collar crime are unaware of the crime until much later. White collar crime is very serious, and anyone facing charges related to a white collar crime should seek the help of a qualified criminal defense attorney.

Common White Collar Crimes

There are a variety of different offenses that fall under the umbrella of white collar crime. These types of crimes often occur in business or professional settings; hence the term "white collar" as a reference to dress shirts common in such environments. Crimes that are commonly considered white collar include:

  • Identity theft;
  • Money laundering;
  • Extortion;
  • Embezzlement;
  • Mortgage fraud;
  • Tax evasion;
  • Forgery; and
  • Fraud.

Penalties of White Collar Crime

Because white collar crime consists of a variety of different criminal activities, the penalties associated with a conviction can vary dramatically. Most crime in Illinois is classified according to severity, and while some white collar offenses are misdemeanors, many are considered felonies. As such, jail time is a distinct possibility in many cases. Additionally, a number of these types of crimes have minimum sentences, which means judges and prosecutors may have very little discretion in handing down penalties for a conviction. Therefore, it is vital that anyone facing white collar charges seek qualified legal guidance as soon as possible.

In addition to fines and potential jail time, being convicted of a white collar crime could harm you professionally. Your reputation can be destroyed by even the allegation of wrongdoing, and your future job opportunities will likely be affected. Many employers will simply not hire those suspected of being involved in such activity.

Experienced White Collar Representation

Are you facing charges related to tax fraud, embezzlement, forgery, or any crime that would be considered white collar? If so, contact an experienced Kane County criminal defense attorney and get the help you need. Our firm is proud to represent those charged with white collar crimes, and we will work hard to protect your rights. Call 847-488-0889 to schedule your free, confidential consultation at The The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola today.

Source:

https://www.fbi.gov/investigate/white-collar-crime

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Posted on in Fraud

identity theft, Elgin criminal defense attorneyIdentity theft crimes involve using sensitive personal information to steal money or property in a variety of ways, often remaining undetected until the victim discovers inconsistencies in his or her financial records. By the time this happens, the damage is usually already done and may take a significant amount of time to repair. Even when victims discover fraudulent charges or accounts they never opened early on, a great deal of work may be necessary—along with more than a few headaches—to dispute the charges and restore their standing with a financial institution.

How Stolen Identities are Used

Using someone’s identity allows a thief to open new accounts under the victim’s name, make charges on his or her credit cards, and even make withdrawals from his or her bank accounts. Other common scenarios involve tax-related theft, where a person’s refund is stolen, or medical-related theft, where the victim’s identity is used to acquire medical treatment under his or her health insurance plan.

The scope of these crimes can range greatly. Some might result in a few minor fraudulent charges that end up costing the victim nothing after dispute. Others include the theft of much larger amounts of money that end up severely damaging the victim’s credit and bank balances.

Reasons You May Be Accused of Identity Theft

If you are under investigation for being involved in an identity-related crime, chances are your name has somehow been tied to an activity that was discovered by the victim through methods such as:

  • Mysterious medical bills: Identity theft victims will often receive medical bills or statements for services they never acquired that are in their name. Alternatively, the victim’s health insurance provider may reject medical claims when the record shows that he or she has already reached the benefits limit.
  • IRS notifications: When more than one tax return is filed under someone’s name or when the IRS reports that a person received income from an employer they never actually worked for, the identity theft victim may eventually discover the crime when the IRS sends them notices informing them of the information on record.
  • Debt collector calls: It is also common for victims to discover their identity was stolen when they begin receiving relentless telephone calls from debt collectors about debts they never incurred. Once they are aware of the mysterious debts, they often turn to their credit report and begin an investigation from there.
  • Strange bank withdrawals: Whether it be a checking or savings account or charges on a credit card account that cannot be explained, strange bank withdrawals of any kind usually alert victims right away that their identity has been compromised. In some cases, the fraudulent activity may not be discovered immediately, as a victim may not notice such activity until skimming their monthly bank statements after some time has passed.

If you have tampered with someone’s personal information or have involved yourself in any way with an identity theft crime, you are at risk for being prosecuted under federal law. If you feel the accusations brought against you are unjust, it is imperative you speak with an experienced Kane County criminal defense attorney to protect your rights and your reputation. Call 847-488-0889 for a free consultation at The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola today.

Sources:

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/topics/identity-theft

https://www.identitytheft.gov/Warning-Signs-of-Identity-Theft

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Posted on in Fraud

white-collar crime, Elgin criminal defense attorneyWhen you think about white collar crime, you may visualize the country’s top executives participating in unlawful actions and reaping a wide range of beneficial perks. This is understandable, to an extent due to a number of Hollywood box office hits such as The Wolf of Wall Street, Boiler Room, or Catch Me If You Can. In real life, many such crimes are handled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), making white collar offenses like forgery and deceptive practices major issues.

As early as 1939, white collar crime—a term that refers to fraudulent actions committed by business government professionals—was characterized by deeds of deceit, concealment or a gross violation of trust but not through the application of threats, violence or physical force. Such actions are typically motivated by financial gain and the avoidance of financial loss.

Types of White Collar Crime

Though these offenses generally do not involve physical harm, white collar crime is certainly not a victimless crime. The FBI notes that a single fraudulent action can destroy a company or wipe out a family’s savings. As white collar crime increases in sophistication, the FBI has dedicated both additional manpower and technology-based strategies to uncover such white collar crimes as:

  • Public corruption;
  • Corporate fraud;
  • Bank fraud;
  • Commodities fraud;
  • Securities fraud;
  • Mortgage fraud;
  • Embezzlement;
  • Money laundering; and
  • Crimes against the government.

Over the years, the FBI has developed working relationships with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Internal Revenue Service, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission as well as the Treasury Department Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. The objective is to target fraud cases that, if left unaddressed, could cause significant harm to the U.S. economy.

Economic Dangers

According to the Bureau, corporate fraud remains one of the highest priorities. Fraud in this sector appears to cause the most damaging financial losses not only for the investor but presents a significant danger to the health of the U.S. economy. Most often, crimes of this type involve accounting schemes, unlawful actions of corporate executives, and plans to deceive potential investors. One of the most infamous examples of such fraud can be found in the damage caused by Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi Scheme that cheated investors out of some $65 billion.

As the global economy expands, so does the reach of white collar crime. Prosecutors across the U.S. have followed the FBI’s lead in ramping up efforts and diligence. Fraudulent financial cases are moving away from the civil court circuit and are now being tried in federal and state criminal court as felonies.

White Collar Crime Defense

If you are being investigated for forgery or deceptive practices, you need an advocate who will fight to protect your rights. Contact an experienced Elgin criminal defense attorney for help. Call 847-488-0889 to schedule your free consultation at The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola today.

Sources:

https://www.fbi.gov/investigate/white-collar-crime

http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/genres-movies/drama/10-best-white-collar-crime-movies/

http://www.businessinsider.com/how-bernie-madoffs-ponzi-scheme-worked-2014-7

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