Fraudulent Schemes and Artifices
While many Arizona property crimes fall under the state’s generic theft statute, the Arizona Revised Statutes also contains several specific theft crimes. One of the more commonly charged offenses is fraudulent schemes and artifices, which makes it illegal to obtain a benefit by misrepresenting facts, leaving out important information, or engaging in fraud.
At the Law Office of James E. Novak, our Phoenix fraudulent schemes and artifices lawyer has decades of experience handling complex theft cases, including white-collar crimes. From the moment you bring us on board your case, we will get to work gathering evidence and developing a compelling defense to the charges you face.What Is the Crime of Fraudulent Schemes and Artifices?
The crime of "Fraudulent Schemes and Artifices" is outlined in Arizona Revised Statutes §13-2310. This law defines the crime as knowingly obtaining any benefit by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, promises, or material omissions. In this way, the law targets deceptive practices aimed at acquiring benefits, such as money or property, through dishonest means.
To be convicted under this statute, the prosecution must prove that you had the intent to defraud and actually engaged in a scheme or artifice to defraud another person or business. This includes any plan or strategy deliberately designed to deceive others for personal gain. Importantly, it's not necessary for anyone to actually be defrauded for the crime to occur; the mere existence of a scheme designed to defraud is enough.
The "benefit" referred to in the statute can be anything of value, and the law applies broadly to various forms of fraud, including business fraud, investment schemes, and internet scams.Examples of Fraudulent Schemes and Artifices
There are many possible examples of conduct that could fall within A.R.S. §13-2310. Below are a few examples:
Ponzi Scheme: An individual creates an investment program promising high returns. Initially, they pay returns to earlier investors using the capital from newer investors rather than from profit earned by the operation of a legitimate business. The scheme is designed to collapse once the operator can no longer attract new investors or when too many investors attempt to cash out.
Business Email Compromise Scam: A person hacks into or otherwise gains unauthorized access to a company's email system to intercept or redirect financial transactions. For example, they might pose as a high-level executive or a trusted vendor and request wire transfers to a fraudulent account. These schemes often target businesses working with foreign suppliers and regularly performing wire transfer payments.
Real Estate Investment Fraud: A person or group sets up a fake real estate investment fund, promising investors high returns from real estate deals. They may show fabricated property portfolios and use aggressive marketing techniques to lure in investors. The money collected from investors is used for personal gain, and no actual real estate investments are made.What Is the Punishment for Fraudulent Schemes and Artifices?
In Arizona, fraudulent schemes and artifices is a Class 2 felony. The severity of the punishment can vary depending on factors such as the amount of money involved, the sophistication of the scheme, and whether vulnerable populations were targeted. A fraudulent schemes and artifices conviction can lead to significant penalties, including imprisonment, fines, restitution, and a permanent criminal record. As a general matter, A.R.S. §13-702 provides that the presumptive sentence for a Class 2 felony conviction is five years incarceration. However, this only applies to first-time felony offenders; if you have a significant criminal record, your exposure could be much greater.
Given the severity of these charges, it is imperative to speak with an experienced Phoenix fraudulent schemes and artifices attorney as soon as possible.Obtain the Assistance of a Seasoned Criminal Defense Lawyer
If the government is claiming that you engaged in any type of scheme or scam and has charged you with fraudulent schemes and artifices, the Law Office of James E. Novak is here to help. With more than 25 years of experience handling all types of white-collar and financial crimes, our fraudulent schemes and artifices lawyer has the knowledge, experience and dedication needed to ensure the best possible result in your case. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with a Maricopa County criminal defense attorney today, call Attorney Novak at 480-413-1499. You can also connect with us through our secure online contact form.