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San Diego Fraud Defense Attorneys


Get Aggressive Defense from Our San Diego Criminal Law Firm

If you are under investigation for or have been accused of fraud, it is of the utmost importance to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney right away. Fraud is a federal offense and can carry harsh penalties, including years of incarceration in a state prison, fines, and more. San Diego Criminal Attorney James N. Dicks, a criminal law specialist and former police officer, has experience in dealing with federal investigators and prosecutors and won't back down simply because they use aggressive interrogation techniques or try to intimidate you into accepting a plea bargain.

If you have been charged with the crime of organized fraud, contact jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys at (760) 630-2000 to get the legal guidance you need! Our firm offers completely FREE and confidential case evaluations.

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Types of Fraud Cases

There are many forms of fraud, which can be committed by any group of individuals, any company, or any organization that deceives consumers, clients, or investors.

These types of fraud include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Accounting Fraud
  • Bank Fraud
  • Credit Card Fraud
  • False Charities
  • EDD Fraud
  • Government Fraud
  • Investment Fraud
  • Mail Fraud
  • Mortgage Fraud
  • Overbilling
  • Phishing
  • Wire Fraud

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Accounting Fraud Charges

Misusing and misdirecting funds, along with overstating assets and revenues and understating liabilities and expenses, comprises accounting fraud. This "creative accounting" creates a deceiving image of a company's success and serves to defraud investors, customers, and shareholders. Most often perpetrated by executives in public companies, accounting fraud can total in thousands to millions or even billions of dollars of losses.

Most often, restitution, along with jail or probation, is the sentence for an accounting fraud charge. But when the amount of restitution required is more than all of your personal assets combined, what can you do?

In the case of accounting fraud charges, federal crimes investigators and prosecutors are often involved. In these situations, the SEC or other government agencies may have spent months and even years amassing evidence against a person or company. These agencies will not press charges or make the case public in any way until they have a strong case backed by physical evidence. Government prosecutors are often unwilling to show leniency in negotiating a settlement or alternative or lessened sentencing when they go to trial.

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Bank Fraud Charges

Bank fraud, or defrauding a federally insured bank, is a federal offense that can carry a state prison sentence of up to 20 years and/or fines of up to $250,000. If you have been accused of bank fraud of any kind, contact a skilled San Diego criminal defense attorney who has experience in fraud defense and theft crimes.

With any bank fraud charge comes pressure and attention from federal investigators and prosecutors. These federal agencies will spend time amassing evidence and building a case against you. Fortunately, Attorney James N. Dicks has the resources and personnel needed to conduct our own investigation and find any instances where your rights may have been violated, or we may be able to prove that you did not commit bank fraud at all.

Bank fraud may refer to any manner of defrauding or providing false information to a bank, credit union, or savings and loan association. Common forms of bank fraud include:

  • ATM fraud
  • Online bank fraud
  • Forging signatures on checks
  • Creating counterfeit checks
  • Deceiving a bank in a real estate or mortgage loan application

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Credit Card Fraud Charges

Credit card fraud is a growing category of fraud and identity theft that involves either generating fake credit cards or stealing credit card information from other people. This commonly occurs over the Internet but can also take place by using a credit card that was physically stolen. While the public is becoming increasingly aware of credit card fraud, new software and technology have enabled credit card fraud to continue.

We defend all types of credit card fraud cases, including:

  • Phishing
  • Stolen credit cards
  • Fake or counterfeit credit cards
  • Computer-generated card numbers
  • Credit card fraud through the mail
  • Text and email credit card scams
  • Fake websites or site cloning to get credit card information
  • Fake businesses created to obtain card information

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EDD Fraud Charges

California unemployment insurance protects people who have lost their jobs by providing weekly assistance while they look for new employment. All California workers pay into this program that provides temporary help to those in need.

Unemployment insurance is administered by the Employment Development Department (EDD). To qualify for EDD assistance, a worker must become unemployed or have their hour involuntarily reduced. Workers collecting unemployment insurance have to be actively looking for work and willing to accept employment when it is offered.

EDD fraud occurs when a person collects unemployment insurance by providing false, unreported, or misreported information to the Employment Development Department. Examples of EDD fraud include:

  • Continuing to collect unemployment benefits by not reporting a new job
  • Not reporting wages during the week in which they are earned
  • Not reporting part time employment
  • Collecting more benefits than you are entitled to
  • Giving false information when filing a claim

An employer can also be found guilty of EDD fraud if they attempt to avoid tax liability or establish a fake employer account to enable claims against that account.

Unemployment insurance fraud can be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony. The prosecution may consider the defendant’s criminal history and other circumstances, such as the extent and the duration of the fraud that is alleged to have occurred.

If charged as a misdemeanor, the penalties may include up to a year in county jail and fines up to $20,000. If you are convicted of felony EDD fraud, you face up to 3 years in state prison and a maximum fine of $20,000. Additional charges that may apply in cases of EDD fraud include perjury, forgery, and grand theft.

An experienced criminal defense attorney will develop an effective strategy to defend you against charges of EDD fraud which may include:

  • Lack of fraudulent intent. You simply made a mistake or were unaware of the requirements to report a certain type of income.
  • False accusation. You may have been the victim of identity theft, or someone may be making untrue allegations about you.
  • Lack of evidence. Prosecutors must prove that you are the person who performed EDD fraud when there are others who may have had access to the accounts or payroll in question.

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Government Fraud Charges

Tax fraud, false or overstated invoicing for government contracts, and health care fraud all fall under the category of government fraud and are classified as federal crimes. Government fraud cases are best handled by an attorney who is experienced in defending federal cases.

There are many forms of fraud against the government that we represent:

  • Tax fraud cases involving individuals or organizations
  • Health care, Medicare or Medicaid fraud charges
  • Overstated invoices or fraudulent practices involving federal agencies
  • Fraudulently reported inventories of federally regulated materials such as drugs

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Investment Fraud Charges

Investment fraud, or securities fraud, involves deceiving investors into investing in a company that has been misrepresented in a situation where the seller failed to fully disclose the actual financial condition of the company, or as a result of a number of other violations, with the investor usually losing the money contributed to the company or firm.

There are many regulations on:

  • The type of investor who can be contacted
  • The words that can be used by the salesperson
  • What the broker says about the investment
  • How the investment is presented

Violations in investments and securities are heavily punished, and the defendant may be forced to suffer years in federal prison, as well as losing personal assets, if the court believes this is warranted. The scope of the operation, the individuals involved, and any earlier violations can make securities fraud defense even more complex.

In making any type of investment, the consumer/investor has a responsibility to investigate the company before making a decision. By using the defense of the obligation to investigate, your attorney may be able to prove that you did not intentionally or willfully defraud an investor. There are additional opportunities for success in federal court, such as using forensic evidence and witness testimony to support the case for your defense.

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Mail Fraud Charges

Every year, thousands of people are arrested for suspected mail theft. Stealing mail and using mail as a means to defraud are both federal offenses that are harshly penalized. Mail fraud may encompass a wide variety of white collar crimes, such as credit card fraud, investment fraud, prescription drug fraud, and more.

While mail fraud charges often include strong physical evidence, federal prosecutors still have the task of proving intent. To be convicted of mail fraud, you must have intentionally and purposefully defrauded someone or attempted to defraud using the mail. You must have planned to commit fraud and intentionally created a scheme for your personal gain.

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Mortgage Fraud Charges

In today's volatile real estate market, many brokers, loan officers, and realtors find themselves the targets of investigations intended to expose mortgage fraud. Several people involved in the process of a mortgage loan or real estate transaction are potentially liable.

Individuals at risk of such charges include:

  • Appraisers
  • Mortgage brokers
  • Banks
  • Realtors
  • Real estate agents
  • Lenders
  • Loan officers
  • Homebuyers

There are many defense techniques we can use—from disproving evidence the prosecution provides to using constitutional rights violations to suppress evidence or information. For example, the prosecution must prove your intent in mortgage fraud. It is not enough to simply have the paperwork that shows you provided incorrect information on any loan document, real estate application, or mortgage loan application. The prosecution must prove that you intentionally and purposefully misreported financial or other information in order to defraud.

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Organized Fraud Charges

Organized fraud is an increasingly common charge. Organized groups from other countries will often defraud Americans using get-rich-quick schemes, phishing, or other forms of communication to illicitly obtain financial information. Companies and organizations within the United States have also been accused of and convicted for organized fraud. Even a not-for-profit organization or charitable group may be accused of using donations and government grants for personal profit, or they may be accused of overbilling.

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Wire Fraud Charges

Wire fraud occurs when a person knowingly defrauds or attempts to defraud a person or persons by using interstate wire communications such as:

  • Television
  • Telephone
  • Radio
  • The Internet

This is a federal offense and is punishable by up to 20 years in state prison, along with fines. If a financial institution is affected, this is punishable by a state prison sentence of up to 30 years and/or a fine of up to $1,000,000. In addition to being backed by federal crimes law enforcement authorities, wire fraud charges are complex and often involve extensive federal investigations long before charges are ever filed.

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We’re on Your Side

You don’t want to face criminal prosecution without a skilled criminal defense attorney at your side. We’ve been defending people in Southern California for over 30 years. Call jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys at (760) 630-2000 for a FREE case evaluation.

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Sample of Case Results

  • Fraudulent Appropriation by Clerk -
    Charges Reduced to an Infraction
  • Insurance Adjuster Charged with Fraud -
    Not Guilty

View more case results here.


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James N. Dicks

About James N. Dicks

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