Fraud schemes may be prosecuted in either state or federal courts -- although most are ultimately charged in federal courts. The FBI, SEC, and other federal agencies have units that specifically focus on interstate and international fraud investigations. The Wyatt Law Office routinely represents those charged with a variety of fraudulent schemes, conspiracies and other white collar crimes. While we are a small law firm, our practice focuses on these types of charges. Unlike many large firms, we don't dabble in criminal law. We defend those charged with crimes, and that is virtually ALL that we do and we win.
Among others, the following represent common fraud schemes.
Both state and federal prosecutors investigate allegations of fraud — although most fraudulent schemes ultimately are charged in federal courts (see federal crimes). The FBI, SEC and other federal agencies have units that specifically focus on interstate and international fraud investigations. Read more about fraud. The types of schemes routinely investigated by federal authorities involve allegations concerning:
Fraud Target: Senior Citizens
Common Fraud Scams
Call the Wyatt Law Office at 405.234.5500 for your Oklahoma Federal Fraud Crimes Lawyers and Attorneys.
Mail fraud can be charged in any criminal case where the U.S. Mails or other common carriers (UPS, FedEx, etc.) are used to further the criminal act.
Whoever, having devised or intending to devise any scheme or artifice to defraud, or for obtaining money or property by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises, or to sell, dispose of, loan, exchange, alter, give away, distribute, supply, or furnish or procure for unlawful use any counterfeit or spurious coin, obligation, security, or other article . . . shall be guilty of a crime."
Mail fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison, or if it involves a Presidentially declared disaster, then the punishment range is up to 30 years.
Call the Wyatt Law Office at 405.234.5500 for your Oklahoma Mail Fraud Crimes Lawyers and Attorneys.
Essentially, wire fraud is the use of interstate wires (i.e., telephone or Internet) to facilitate a criminal scheme to defraud.
Whoever, having devised or intending to devise any scheme or artifice to defraud, or for obtaining money or property by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises, transmits or causes to be transmitted by means of wire, radio, or television communication in interstate or foreign commerce, . . . for the purpose of executing such scheme or artifice, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both."
If the crime involves a Presidentially declared disaster, then the punishment range is up to 30 years.
Call the Wyatt Law Office at 405.234.5500 for your Oklahoma Wire Fraud Crimes Lawyers and Attorneys.
Bank fraud is chargeable when one provides materially false information that is relied upon by a bank or financial institution in making a loan or transferring assets.
Whoever knowingly executes, or attempts to execute, a scheme or artifice—
(1) to defraud a financial institution; or
(2) to obtain any of the moneys, funds, credits, assets, securities, or other property owned by, or under the custody or control of, a financial institution, by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises."
Bank fraud is punishable by fine up to $1,000,000 or imprisoned up to 30 year, or both.
Call the Wyatt Law Office at 405.234.5500 for your Oklahoma Bank Fraud Crimes Lawyers and Attorneys.
Mortgage fraud is a broad term and may involve various criminal statutes.
ROUTINE MORTGAGE FRAUD SCHEMES
Inflated Income - inflating the borrower's income or assets to make the loan easier to approve. These historically have involved "no docs" loans or liar's loans.
Property Flipping - Illegal when combined with false appraisals, false loan documentation, altered loan documentations, kickbacks, etc.
Silent Second - Seller pays the down payment without knowledge of the lender.
Nominee Loans - Borrower's identity is concealed through use of straw buyers and/or using straw buyer's credit.
Identity Theft - Loan obtained with fake identification or based on a fictitious person or using another person's credit history without authority.
Inflated Appraisals - Appraiser artificially inflates property value in order to cover kickbacks to the parties or to obtain a larger loan.
Kickbacks to Borrowers - An example is the payment of kickbacks to buyers in the form of "remodeling" money -- with no intent to remodel.
Foreclosure Schemes - Predatory lending to those in danger of losing their homes or falsification of government or other "assistance" plans even though the scammer is not part of a legitimate credit counseling or mortgage work-out group.
Equity Skimming - Purchasing a property under a false name, then renting the property to a third party without ever making payments on the mortgage. Until default on the mortgage and eviction from the property, the scammer skims the equity from the property.
Down Payment Scams - Seller illegally provides the down payment without disclosure to the lending company.
Brokers, real estate agents, loan agents, title company representatives, appraisers and consumers can all participate or be unwitting participants in mortgage fraud.
The Department of Justice has announced that mortgage fraud is one of its top priorities. In addition to mortgage fraud, the Department is focusing on predatory lending and scams taking advantage of homeowners whose mortgages are in danger of default or are in default. We represent individuals and companies charged with this type of fraud. We are willing to travel to any federal court nationwide or represent you in a state court in Oklahoma.
Call the Wyatt Law Office at 405.234.5500 for your Oklahoma Mortgage Fraud Lawyers and Attorneys.
Government contracting fraud is a type of public corruption. It might include crimes such as:
The Wyatt Law Office represents individuals and companies charged with public corruption.
Call the Wyatt Law Office at 405.234.5500 for your Oklahoma Government Contract Fraud & Kickback Crimes Lawyers and Attorneys.
Many cases involving healthcare fraud involve either Medicare or Medicaid, but other criminal investigations also involve private insurance companies or research grants. Medicare Fraud and Medicaid Fraud investigations may result in charges filed in the federal courts. However, some Medicaid fraud investigations are processed through the Oklahoma Attorney General's Office or the Office of the District Attorney for a particular county. When federal investigations occur, they are generally handled by the FBI or the Office of Inspector General for one of the affected federal agencies, but other agencies such as the FDA or some branches of the military investigative services may also be involved. Some crimes may include:
Healthcare fraud schemes may be charged as wire or mail frauds in general and are usually combined with conspiracy charges, criminal tax charges and/or money laundering. The punishment range for mail and wire frauds is generally up to 20 years.
Call the Wyatt Law Office at 405.234.5500 for your Oklahoma Healthcare Fraud Lawyers and Attorneys.
Securities fraud means a violation of, or a conspiracy or an attempt to violate—
(1) Title 18 U.S.C., section 1348;
(2) section 32(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78ff (a));
(3) section 24 of the Securities Act of 1933 (15 U.S.C. 77x);
(4) section 217 of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (15 U.S.C. 80b–17);
(5) section 49 of the Investment Company Act of 1940 (15 U.S.C. 80a–48); or
(6) section 325 of the Trust Indenture Act of 1939 (15 U.S.C. 77yyy).Section 1348 expressly provides:
Whoever knowingly executes, or attempts to execute, a scheme or artifice—
(1) to defraud any person in connection with any commodity for future delivery, or any option on a commodity for future delivery, or any security of an issuer with a class of securities registered under section 12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78l) or that is required to file reports under section 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78o (d)); or
(2) to obtain, by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises, any money or property in connection with the purchase or sale of any commodity for future delivery, or any option on a commodity for future delivery, or any security of an issuer with a class of securities registered under section 12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78l) or that is required to file reports under section 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78o (d))."
Securities fraud is punishable by fine and up to 25 years in prison, or both.
Call the Wyatt Law Office at 405.234.5500 for your Oklahoma Securities Fraud Crimes Lawyers and Attorneys.
Any attempt or conspiracy to defraud creditors or the Bankruptcy Court by concealing assets subject to forfeiture, filing materially false or incomplete forms with the bankruptcy court, making false claims or exemptions, filing bankruptcy multiple times in multiple courts, or bribing a court-appointed bankruptcy trustee, can be charged as bankruptcy fraud, false statements, bribery, perjury, money laundering, etc.
A person who—
(1) knowingly and fraudulently conceals from a custodian, trustee, marshal, or other officer of the court charged with the control or custody of property, or, in connection with a case under title 11, from creditors or the United States Trustee, any property belonging to the estate of a debtor;
(2) knowingly and fraudulently makes a false oath or account in or in relation to any case under title 11;
(3) knowingly and fraudulently makes a false declaration, certificate, verification, or statement under penalty of perjury as permitted under section 1746 of title 28, in or in relation to any case under title 11;
(4) knowingly and fraudulently presents any false claim for proof against the estate of a debtor, or uses any such claim in any case under title 11, in a personal capacity or as or through an agent, proxy, or attorney;
(5) knowingly and fraudulently receives any material amount of property from a debtor after the filing of a case under title 11, with intent to defeat the provisions of title 11;
(6) knowingly and fraudulently gives, offers, receives, or attempts to obtain any money or property, remuneration, compensation, reward, advantage, or promise thereof for acting or forbearing to act in any case under title 11;
(7) in a personal capacity or as an agent or officer of any person or corporation, in contemplation of a case under title 11 by or against the person or any other person or corporation, or with intent to defeat the provisions of title 11, knowingly and fraudulently transfers or conceals any of his property or the property of such other person or corporation;
(8) after the filing of a case under title 11 or in contemplation thereof, knowingly and fraudulently conceals, destroys, mutilates, falsifies, or makes a false entry in any recorded information (including books, documents, records, and papers) relating to the property or financial affairs of a debtor; or
(9) after the filing of a case under title 11, knowingly and fraudulently withholds from a custodian, trustee, marshal, or other officer of the court or a United States Trustee entitled to its possession, any recorded information (including books, documents, records, and papers) relating to the property or financial affairs of a debtor,
shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both."
Call the Wyatt Law Office at 405.234.5500 for your Oklahoma Bankruptcy Fraud Lawyers and Attorneys.
An advance fee scheme occurs when the alleged perpetrator receives money from another with the anticipation of receiving something of greater value, such as a loan, investment, or a job, but then gives little or nothing in return. An advance fee scheme is often charged by a conspiracy along with allegations of wire fraud and/or securities fraud since it often committed or aided through the use of interstate “wires.” Wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, and a Section 371 conspiracy is punishable by up to 5 years. Fines and restitution may be ordered if convicted -- as well as criminal forfeiture of any ill-gotten profits or gains.
Call the Wyatt Law Office at 405.234.5500 for your Oklahoma Advance Fee Scheme Lawyers and Attorneys.
A Ponzi scheme involves a scheme or artifice to defraud investors by promising very high yield returns that are actually paid with money invested by "new" investors. A pyramid scheme is also an investment scheme, but the investor is encouraged or required to recruit new investors whose money is used to pay the "profits" to the previous investors. Ultimately if it is a scheme to defraud, the new investors are left with no revenue stream and sometimes both the more recent and the original investors are saddled with losses or "claw back" claims. Ponzi and pyramid schemes may be charged as wire or mail frauds in general and are usually combined with conspiracy charges and/or criminal tax charges. The punishment range for mail and wire frauds is generally up to 20 years.
Call the Wyatt Law Office at 405.234.5500 for your Oklahoma Ponzi & Pyramid Scheme Lawyers and Attorneys.
Tax fraud is a broad term. Typical tax crimes can involve tax evasion (hiding income to avoid payment of taxes), failure to file a tax return, fraud, or filing a materially false tax return (either to reduce payments or to obtain a refund). Tax fraud can also involve identity theft -- filing a "fake" tax return in order to obtain the tax refund. Aggravated identity theft can result in up to 2 years for each count charged and punishment MUST be stacked to run consecutively.
Call the Wyatt Law Office at 405.234.5500 for your Oklahoma Tax Crimes Lawyers and Attorneys.
Allegations that the client violated the Sherman Antitrust Act can be brought in civil or criminal court pursuant to section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act. This includes price fixing, bid rigging, monopolies, etc. Click here to read more.
Credit card fraud is a wide-ranging term for theft and fraud committed using a credit card or any similar payment mechanism as a fraudulent source of funds in a transaction. The purpose may be to obtain goods without paying or to obtain unauthorized funds from an account. Credit card fraud is also an adjunct to identity theft. According to the Federal Trade Commission, while identity theft had been holding steady for the last few years, it saw a 21 percent increase in 2008.
The use of E-Bay® to commit many different types of online fraud.
Minimal Punishment. In federal court in Oklahoma City, client pled guilty to tax evasion (around $1.6 Million), and was sentenced to 24 months in prison, followed by supervised release (probation) and payment of full restitution.*
Minimal Punishment. In federal court in Tulsa, client was charged with dozens of counts of falsifying tax returns by filing returns under the names of others (basically identity theft). She received a 48 month sentence although she faced over 30 years in prison for aggravated identity theft.*
Evidence Suppressed in Federal Court. Wyatt and Scott Graham teamed up arguing and convincing the federal court to suppress evidence obtained after a “routine” traffic stop pursuant to an open air drug dog sniff search. During an illegal search, Troopers found 3,000 Oxycontin pills, multiple fake I.D.s, fake prescriptions, and over $17,000 cash. The clients were basically charged with obtaining prescriptions by fraud. All evidence suppressed and case dismissed.*
Federal Charges Dismissed. Client charged with conspiracy to defraud investors in an alleged $1.2 million advance fee scheme. At a “James” hearing to determine scope of conspiracy, Wyatt showed that government had no proof against his client. Government counsel agreed to dismiss the charges against Wyatt’s client; all other defendants still facing charges.*
Minimal Punishment for Federal Antitrust Price Fixing Charge. Client accused of orchestrating gasoline price-fixing scheme with volume of commerce in excess of $5 million. Jury returned guilty verdict for Sherman Antitrust Act price-fixing violation, but judge ordered only probation (with no restitution) based on evidence developed at trial and in mitigation.*
Charge Avoided & Investigation Terminated. After thorough criminal investigation by the Department of Defense Criminal Investigative Service and recommendations for fraud charges, Wyatt negotiated to avoid charges in an alleged Veteran’s Affairs fraud scheme.*
Charge Avoided & Investigation Terminated. After thorough criminal investigation by the Social Security Administration and recommendations for fraud charges, Wyatt negotiated to avoid charges in an alleged scheme to defraud a vulnerable adult out of Social Security disability benefits.*
Tax Fraud Case Dismissed. Client, a former state politician, charged with knowingly filing a false State of Oklahoma tax return. After years of litigation and only days before trial, the court agreed with motions filed by the defense that the charge was not timely filed. Charges were dismissed after a hotly contested hearing.*
Acquittal on 106 Counts of Fraud & Money Laundering. Bob Wyatt and Gloyd McCoy were engaged to represent a grain elevator operator previously charged with and convicted of 106 counts of uttering forged securities and engaging in illegal monetary transactions (effectively money laundering). On behalf of the client, we sought habeas corpus relief and were granted a new trial. At this re-trial, the jury convicted again, but the trial judge released the client on bond pending appeal because of the issues raised by Wyatt. Wyatt appealed again, this time with the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals directing a Judgment of Acquittal (“not guilty”) — meaning that the client is a free man and the government cannot try him again. United States v. Hunt, 456 F.3d 1255 (10th Cir. 2006).*
Sentence Vacated in Securities Fraud Case. In December 2003, Bob Wyatt and Gloyd McCoy were engaged to represent a northwest Oklahoma resident who had previously been convicted of 106 counts of uttering forged securities and engaging in illegal monetary transactions (effectively money laundering) in federal court in Oklahoma City. The client sought habeas corpus relief for, among other things, ineffective assistance of his former trial counsel and conflict of interest. After a two-day hearing in January, the U.S. District Court on March 5, 2004, issued an order granting habeas relief and vacating the client’s conviction and sentence.*
State Embezzlement Charges Dismissed. Wyatt secured the dismissal of multiple counts of embezzlement against a camera store employee. After Wyatt’s investigation and cross-examination of the State’s witnesses, the preliminary hearing magistrate dismissed all charges.*
Health Care Fraud Conviction Reversed, Case Dismissed. In the early 1990s, Bob Wyatt was co-counsel to two obstetric physicians and surgeons charged with multiple counts of “healthcare fraud” for alleged violation of CHAMPUS regulations as it related to over 100 patients of the surgery center. This four-year federal investigation in parallel civil and criminal proceedings concluded in a guilty verdict on all but one charge; however, Wyatt convinced the federal appeals court to reverse the conviction with orders to dismiss the charges for lack of merit. Bob Wyatt briefed and argued the appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. (See United States v. Avery, 34 F.3d 1517 (10th Cir. 1994).*
*Note: Results may vary because each case must be decided on its own unique facts and the law applicable to that given case. You should not infer the likelihood of success on a given case based on past cases handled by this firm.
Call the Wyatt Law Office at 405.234.5500 for your Oklahoma Fraud Crimes Lawyers and Attorneys. Your future is our business.