Federal fraud encompasses a wide range of deceptive activities. Prosecution for these crimes can have serious legal consequences.
If you face criminal charges in one of these categories, the federal court system may handle your case. Penalties tend to exceed the penalties for similar state charges.
Identity theft is the unauthorized use of another person’s personal information with the intent to commit fraud. It can involve:
- Financial data
- Social Security number
- Health insurance data
- Name and address
The federal court prosecutes the use of stolen information to open credit card accounts, file false tax returns or make fraudulent purchases.
Mail and wire fraud
Schemes related to mail and wire fraud use U.S. mail or electronic communications for fraud. For example, telemarketing scams trick people into sending money or sharing credit card information.
Healthcare providers or facilities may commit healthcare fraud affecting insurance companies, Medicare or Medicaid. Examples include false claims for services not provided or unnecessary treatments.
Securities fraud covers deceptive practices when buying or selling stocks, bonds or other securities. This includes insider trading and misrepresenting information to influence stock prices.
Common bank fraud schemes involve check forgery and counterfeit credit cards. This category also includes mortgage fraud to secure loans under false pretenses.
Trying to get a larger refund or reduce liability with false information is tax fraud. Examples include reporting less income than you earn, inflating deductions or hiding money in offshore accounts to evade taxes.
Credit card fraud
Credit card fraud occurs when individuals use stolen credit card information to make unauthorized purchases. It may also involve counterfeit cards.
Government benefit fraud
Government benefit fraud uses false information to get Social Security, food stamps or housing assistance. For example, Hawaii News Now reported that the state paid at least $15.8 million in fraudulent COVID-19 unemployment benefits.
Federal fraud charges may receive federal prosecution, increasing fines, jail time and other penalties. The amount of money involved, criminal history and other factors also affect whether you receive state or federal charges.