In the Phoenix area or anywhere else in the state of Arizona, as per A.R.S. §13-2310, the crime of fraudulent schemes is committed when an individual creates a scheme or artifice to defraud, which involves the attempt to defraud knowingly and when they receive a benefit as a result. A scheme or artifice to defraud means that a person intended to gain an unfair benefit or that another person was deprived of the right of honest services. For a defendant to be convicted of this crime, it is not necessary that the individual who was defrauded actually relied on said fraud.
Here is a short video where David Cantor explains Fraudulent Schemes in Arizona:
Punishment for Fraudulent Schemes Conviction
If you are convicted of a first offense fraudulent scheme, it is considered a class 2 felony. The punishment for such a conviction includes probation with zero days to up to one year in jail or a prison sentence ranging anywhere from three to 12.5 years. With one prior conviction, the prison only term ranges from four and one half to 23.25 years of incarceration. If the individual has two prior convictions, the prison sentence can range anywhere from 10.5 to 35 years of time served.
If the monetary amount the individual received is $100,000 or greater, they would not receive probation and the punishment of prison is instituted. However, a skilled defense attorney would strive to get you the minimum sentence instead of the maximum.
Defenses to Fraudulent Schemes in Arizona
There are several different tactics a skilled defense attorney can take toward defending an individual who is charged with the crime of fraudulent schemes in Arizona. Generally speaking, the key to a successful defense involves the lawyer showing that the defendant never meant to defraud anyone and did not knowingly do so. To accomplish this, the attorney must present evidence that shows that the individual never created a scheme or artifice to obtain a benefit in a fraudulent manner from another person. In addition, it has to be proven that any benefit the defendant did receive was either through the consent of the so called victim or via mutual understanding between the two individuals. A third option is to prove that the defendant never actually received any benefit. Many times, a person may be accused of fraudulent schemes by a dishonest employer. For example, a person may be informed that they can pay for personal expenses with company checks as a bonus and that the employer can write it off on taxes. However, when or if the employment relationship sours or there are tax issues, the employer turns around and accuses the employee of embezzlement.
Other possible defenses include violation of Miranda rights where an individual was not read their rights when arrested, denial of right to counsel, meaning the individual asked to speak to an attorney but was not granted that right, that the police coerced them to falsely confess and forensic flaws during the investigation.
If you have been suspected of Fraudulent Schemes in Arizona and would like to speak with an attorney, please give us a call at (602) 307-0808 to schedule a free consultation. If you would like, you can also send us an email and we’ll contact you back as soon as possible. We look forward to hearing from you soon.