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Using deception and other dishonest means to obtain a monetary benefit or services could be considered fraudulent under Iowa’s Code. In the state of Iowa, fraud is a broad crime that ranges a multitude of offense. It can include impersonating yourself as another person or even creating your own counterfeit money. No matter the circumstances, the penalties related to fraud are nothing to take lightly.

If you or someone you know has been arrested for a fraud or another related crime, then it’s imperative you seek an experienced criminal defense attorney to assist you. Having a skilled defense lawyer on your side can be the difference between years behind bars and freedom. Start your defense plan today by gaining legal representation as soon as possible.

White Collar Crime Attorney for Fraud in West Des Moines, IA

Have you been accused of forgery, fraud or another deceptive financially motivated crime? If so, then we implore you to secure trusted legal counsel. One great option is to go with the attorneys at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C.. We have been practicing white collar crimes for years and have the right experience to combat your charges.

Get in touch with us by calling (515) 279-9700 and we will set up your first consultation free. There our lawyers can sit with you and discuss a defense plan for your case in further detail. McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. represents people throughout the greater Polk County and Dallas County such as Adel, Waukee, Dallas Center, Perry, and De Soto.

Overview of Fraud in Iowa

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Fraud Defined Under Iowa Law

Various scenarios and situations can be classified as fraud under the Iowa Code due to its broad definition. The crime can range from altering another person’s public records without authorization to knowingly embezzling funds from a company. The Iowa Code Section 714.8 states all the following acts can be defined as fraud.

  • Make, tender or keep counterfeit money or an instrument purporting to represent any right to goods while being aware those goods do not exist;
  • Attach or alter any price tag to goods for sale to misrepresent the price or producer;
  • Alters public records of any corporation, partnership, business enterprise, or non-profit business enterprise while knowing the information is false;
  • Remove or alter the identification number of stolen property;
  • Falsely represent yourself as a veteran of the armed forces/religious organization/charity/etc. and solicit for assistance or contributions;
  • Sells, manufactures, or keeps tokens or devices for coin-operated devices or vending machines with the intent to use it;
  • Manufacture or possess false or counterfeit labels with the intent to deceive others of the identity, origin and quality of the merchandise;
  • Alter or render inoperative or inaccurate any meter or measuring device used to determine the value of a purchase with the intent to defraud;
  • Removes, defaces, covers, alters or destroys any part of vehicle registration, identification number or product identification number to conceal or misrepresent the year of manufacture or identity of the vehicle;
  • Transfer or assign a legal or equitable interest in property for less than fair consideration with the intent to gain public assistance through the government;
  • Transfer or assign assets of an interest in property of a business to a woman or minority simply for the purpose of gaining benefits from targeted small business programs;
  • Solicit and is awarded a state contract on behalf of a targeted small business so the contract can be transferred to another for a percentage and you as the person transferring had no intention of performing any work;
  • Makes a payment pursuant to an agreement with a dealer or market agency for livestock held by the dealer or market agency by use of a financial instrument which is a check, share, draft or written order to any financial institution and seven days after the date the livestock is transferred pursuant to the purchase, financial institution refuses the payment on the instrument because of insufficient funds in the maker’s account;
  • Obtain or attempt to obtain the transfer of possession, control or ownership of the property of another through deception conducted on the telephone and involving a direct or implied claim that the other person may be able to recover any losses suffered by such other person in connection with a prize promotion;
  • Provide false information to a treasurer of state when claiming an interest in unclaimed property held by the state or knowingly provide false information to a person or fail to disclose the nature, value or location of unclaimed property prior to entering a contract to receive compensation to recover or assist in the recovery of property;
  • A packer who includes a confidentiality provision in a contract with a livestock seller;
  • Manufacture, creates, alters, possesses, uses or otherwise contributes to the production or use of a fraudulent retail sale receipt or universal product code label with intent to defraud another person engages in the retail business;
  • A contractor who enforces a provision in a production contract that provides that information contained in the production contract is confidential;
  • A contract seller who intentionally provides inaccurate information regarding the matter that is being disclosed; and
  • Using deception with intent to defraud states a child that is expected to be due from another’s pregnancy or your own that may be available for adoption.

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Penalties for Fraudulent Crimes in Iowa

The penalties for the offense are determined by the value of the property or money stolen. These consequences are divided into five degrees based on the monetary amount that was defrauded. The sentencing for these crimes can range from a simple misdemeanor to a serious high-class felony depending on the circumstances.

If the amount defrauded does not exceed $300, then it’s considered fraudulent practices in the fifth degree, which is a simple misdemeanor. The penalties for a simple misdemeanor include a fine between $625 and $6,2500 as well as up to 30 days in jail.

Fraud cases where the amount defrauded exceeds $300 but doesn’t exceed $750 is fraudulent practices in the fourth degree. This can lead to a serious misdemeanor charge which includes a fine between $315 and $1,875 as well as up to one year in jail.

If the case involves one of the following, then the crime is enhanced to a third-degree fraudulent practices charge.

  • Defrauded someone or an entity of more than $750, but less than $5,000;
  • Altered price tags to defraud the retailer;
  • Manufacture or possess a counterfeit label with intent to falsely identify merchandise and defraud a customer;
  • Alter or renter inoperative or inaccurate a meter used to determine the value of or compensation for a purchase with intent to defraud;
  • Represents to another person or entity that the child expected as a result may be available for adoption

Fraudulent practices in the third degree is an aggravated misdemeanor, which can lead to fine between $625 and $6,2500 and a jail sentence of up to two years.

A person can be charged with fraudulent practices in the second degree if they:

  • Defraud someone where the amount of money or value taken exceeds $1,500, but doesn’t exceed $10,000; or
  • They have two prior fraud convictions from the past and defrauded again an amount of no more than $500

A second-degree fraudulent practice charge is a class D felony. The penalties for the crime include a fine between $750 and $7,500 as well as a five-year prison sentence.

The highest charge is fraudulent practices in the first-degree. A person can face first-degree fraud charges by defrauding someone of property or services where the amount exceeded $10,000.

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Additional Resources

Report Fraud – Visit the official website for the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals to learn more about how you can report fraud in the state of Iowa. Access the site to learn more regarding how Iowa approaches fraud, Medicaid related fraud and more.

Iowa’s Theft and Fraud Laws – Visit the official website for Iowa’s Code to learn more about their larceny and fraudulent offenses. Access the site to learn the penalties, elements, inadmissible offenses and other related theft crimes.

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Defense Lawyer for Fraud in West Des Moines, IA

If you or someone you know has been accused of a fraudulent practice, then it’s important you seek an experienced criminal defense attorney to assist you. We suggest you set up an appointment with McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C.. Our defense lawyers can discuss your charges, set up a defense plan and do whatever we can to assist you.

McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. has represented numerous people throughout the greater Polk County and Dallas County area including Altoona, West Des Moines, Ankeny, and Polk City.