An Overview of Fraud Crimes in Illinois

Updated on 08/11/2023 / Under

Financial fraud is a common problem in our society. In Illinois, fraudulent activities that involve deception to gain money and property are considered serious offenses. Committing these offenses may lead to federal charges, substantial financial penalties, imprisonment, and additional consequences.

Various types of fraud exist in the state, such as identity theft, consumer fraud, forgery, mail fraud, credit card fraud, computer fraud, insurance company fraud, tax fraud, and pyramid schemes.

Chicago fraud attorney Alex Ktenas

If facing accusations of fraud, contact Ktenas Law at (312) 756-8652, for a confidential consultation with a Chicago defense attorney or legal representation today!

How Fraud is Legally Defined?

It can be both a national and international problem, but often it is perpetrated at the local or regional level. The range of potential criminal offenses related to financial fraud includes those that involve the misappropriation of another person or group's funds or assets using false statements, or false identification without their knowledge or consent. This type of crime is known as white-collar crime and affects everyone from individuals to large financial institutions and corporations.

definition of fraud under a magnifying glass

Due to recent more stringent fraud laws and prosecution under federal law enforcement agencies, convictions, and criminal charges for fraud have become more common in Illinois. The state has now implemented harsher punishments for those found guilty of committing financial crimes such as tax fraud, Medicaid or Medicare fraud, insurance fraud, and credit card fraud.

A good Chicago criminal defense attorney should be well acquainted with the various types of policies used by the government to battle financial crime so they can provide the strongest defense possible for their client based on their circumstances.

Understanding Fraudulent Actions

Fraud is a serious crime and can result in stiff penalties for offenders depending on the severity of the offense. Fraud generally involves making false representations to obtain money or assets from another person.

Some types of fraud charges, such as identity theft or credit card fraud can involve both large sums of money and long-term loss of trust from victims who knowingly or unknowingly suffer a financial loss. Other types, such as fraudulent schemes of forgery or healthcare benefits fraud, can carry civil and criminal consequences, often resulting in heavy prison sentences and expensive fines.

someone committing fraud crimes in Illinois on their computer

In Illinois, those suspected of committing fraudulent acts may be charged with misdemeanors or felonies depending on the facts of the case. A few examples include mail or wire fraud, bank fraud, securities fraud, and tax evasion. In all instances, however, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant knew that their actions were wrong before committing them to successfully bring a charge forward.

Punishments can involve multi-year jail sentences as well as thousands of dollars worth of fines and repayment orders to those hurt by the act itself. While victims may not always recover financially, justice must be served by holding wrongdoers accountable for their crimes.

Illinois Fraud Penalties

Fraud is a serious crime that can come with some harsh legal consequences depending on the situation. In Illinois, fraud charges fall into seven different categories: credit/debit card fraud, identity theft, computer fraud, internet fraud, mortgage fraud, loan fraud, healthcare fraud, insurance fraud, and public benefits fraud.

Each of these types of fraudulent activity carries specific penalties which could include fines and/or imprisonment depending on the severity of the offense committed.

For example, those committing identity theft in Illinois may face up to three years in prison along with hefty fines depending on the amount of money taken or property damaged during the commission of their crime. Similarly, computer fraud can carry up to five years in jail with severe fines for more severe cases.

the words "fraud alert" being written by someone in dry erase marker

Fortunately for those who find themselves facing such aggravated fraud charges, Illinois provides many defense options for individuals to make their case as well as avenues for probation or lesser sentences if found guilty during trial.

That is why it is pertinent that anyone suspected of engaging in criminal activities related to fraud consults a competent attorney to build an effective defense strategy that takes all applicable considerations into account while fighting the charges against them. Taking preventive measures can reduce the risk of negative consequences and provide a favorable outcome, as opposed to facing legal repercussions such as imprisonment.

Examples of Fraud in Illinois

Fraud is a broad definition of criminal activity that involves using deception to obtain something of value. It is a crime that is punishable under both criminal and civil laws in the state of Illinois. Examples of fraud in Illinois include identity theft, tax fraud, insurance fraud, investment fraud, computer crime, commercial bribery, and healthcare fraud.

Identity theft occurs when someone obtains another person's personal information, such as Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, or bank account numbers without their consent and uses it to obtain goods or services.

Tax fraud involves filing false tax returns with the intention of evading taxes and incurring a financial benefit. Insurance fraud occurs when someone deliberately misrepresents information to receive an insurance payout from an insurance company.

"fraud" written on a notepad next to some money

Investment fraud involves misrepresenting facts about an investment to induce someone to invest their money.

Computer crime involves accessing a computer system without authorization or using a computer system to commit fraud or other crimes.

Commercial bribery involves offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting something of value to influence the outcome of a business transaction.

Healthcare fraud occurs when someone files false insurance claims with the intent of obtaining payment for services not provided.

Examples of fraud include:

Insurance and Healthcare Fraud

Insurance and healthcare fraud is a crime in the state of Illinois, and it can include any act of deception intended to obtain insurance benefits or healthcare services through illegal means.

This type of fraud includes making false claims for medical services or insurance benefits, exaggerating the extent of an illness or injury, submitting multiple claims for the same treatment, billing for services not rendered or supplies not provided, accepting bribes for referring patients or services and falsifying patient records or information.

Computer Fraud

Computer fraud is a type of crime that involves the use of computers to illegally access, obtain, alter, or damage data. This includes activities such as hacking into computer systems and networks, identity theft, phishing (sending emails with malicious links or attachments), and stealing passwords. In Illinois, computer fraud is a felony offense and can result in significant fines and imprisonment of up to three years if convicted.

someone looking at account numbers under a magnifying glass

Fraud on a Governmental Entity

Fraud on a Governmental Entity is a form of fraud crime that occurs in the state of Illinois. This type of fraud involves an individual or organization making false claims to obtain money, services, or other benefits from a governmental entity.

This can include filing false tax returns, submitting documents that contain false information to receive government benefits, and any other activities meant to deceive the government to obtain funds or benefits.

Social Security Fraud

Social Security fraud is one of the most common types of fraud crimes in Illinois. It involves using another person's Social Security number to gain access to goods, services, and money. This type of fraud can be committed by individuals as well as organizations.

Individuals may use a stolen or borrowed Social Security number to obtain employment, open credit cards, collect government benefits or file false tax returns. Organizations may also commit Social Security fraud by using stolen or borrowed Social Security numbers to open bank accounts, purchase goods or services, and obtain credit.

Identity Fraud

Identity fraud is a crime where an individual deliberately obtains and uses another person's data or identifying information without their permission to commit a crime or other fraudulent activity. In the state of Illinois, identity fraud is considered a serious felony offense and can carry substantial penalties upon conviction.

someone with a pile of money after committing fraud crimes in Illinois

Identity fraud can be committed in a variety of ways, including using someone else’s Social Security number, credit card information, driver’s license number, or other identifying details.

Credit Card Fraud

Credit card fraud is a type of fraud crime prevalent in Illinois and other states. It involves the unauthorized use of another person’s credit card to make purchases or obtain cash without the cardholder’s permission. This type of fraud often occurs when a thief obtains someone’s credit card account details, such as the account number, expiration date, and security code, either through physical theft, online theft (such as phishing), or through other means. Credit card fraud is a serious crime and can result in significant fines and even imprisonment upon conviction.

Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney Today!

Fraud crimes in Illinois can range from minor offenses to serious felony charges, depending on the circumstances. If you have been accused of committing a fraud offense in the state of Illinois, it is important to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to help protect your rights and navigate the complex legal system.

Ktenas Law has attorneys who possess vast experience in defending clients against fraud charges in Illinois. Our criminal defense attorneys, who have the necessary expertise in handling such cases, will exert all efforts to safeguard your rights. Contact Ktenas Law today at (312) 756-8652 for a free consultation.