Under Ohio law, the crime of common fraud and theft is so thin as to not exist at all. However, a noticeable difference only becomes apparent when the government prosecutor must prove what is known as the elements of the crime. Each crime is defined by law in a manner that has several elements, so to secure a conviction, the prosecutor must prove each one of those parts. If the prosecutor does not prove each part, then the person accused cannot be found guilty. At VanNoy Firm, we have dedicated attorneys to help you fend off fraud charges.
Chapter 2913 of the Ohio Revised Code defines fraud as a criminal act of deception. Deception is, for its part, defined as knowingly deceiving another person or causing the victim to be deceived by:
In other words, fraud has to do with making deceptive misrepresentations. If the misrepresentation leads to an individual, business, or government agency handing over money, services, benefits, or products to the person making the misrepresentations, then this is theft enabled by fraud.
A key element in the crime of fraud is “knowingly.” This is because the law recognizes there may be occasions where someone may take something of value that belongs to another person without their clear authorization. However, if it can be shown that you knew that you did not have a legal claim for the item or service, but you took it anyway, then you will be found guilty of fraud-enabled theft.
The Ohio fraud statute cited above lists several specific types of fraud that are prosecutable as criminal offenses. These include, among others, defrauding
Common fraud and most types of fraud that lead to theft of something worth less than $1,000 are treated as first-degree misdemeanors. A conviction for a first-degree offense may result in the guilty person being ordered to pay restitution with interest, sent to jail for up to 180 days, and be required to pay a criminal fine of up to $1,000.
From these basic types of fraud, penalties increase in severity as the dollar value of the alleged theft by fraud rises. Below is a table that shows the various penalties one can face if convicted for fraud resulting in theft of the applicable amounts:
If you have been arrested and charged with fraud, contact our office today to schedule a consultation.
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