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What is Theft by Fraud?

 Posted on September 19, 2023 in Fraud

Waukesha, WI fraud defense lawyerTheft by fraud is a crime in Wisconsin that occurs when someone intentionally deceives another person to obtain their property or services. The deception can be made through words, actions, or a combination of both.

If you have been charged with fraud, talk to a lawyer to see what your defense options are. The prosecution might not have enough evidence to prove that you committed fraud. You could also argue that you were entrapped or that you did not intend to defraud the victim.

How Can I Be Convicted of Theft by Fraud?

To be convicted of theft by fraud, the prosecution must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • The defendant intentionally deceived the victim

  • The victim reasonably relied on the deception

  • The victim suffered a loss as a result of the deception

  • The defendant intended to deprive the victim of their property or services permanently

Theft by fraud can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the value of the property or services that were obtained. Convictions for property stolen at a value less than $2,500 are a Class A misdemeanor. A conviction can result in up to nine months in jail and a fine of up to $10,000. Felony convictions for theft require the defendant to have stolen at a value of more than $2,500. The convictions range from Class I to Class F and can result in up to 12.5 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.

If the prosecution or plaintiff prevails in a civil action, they can get the retail or replacement value of damaged, used, or lost property, whichever is more. The defendant may have to pay all reasonable costs of the investigation and litigation, including the time spent by the victim's employees or agents.

The Difference Between Theft and Fraud

Fraud is often seen as a white-collar crime, which is a type of crime that is typically committed by individuals who have access to the finances or personal information of others. It often involves deception and manipulation, and can be difficult to detect and prosecute.

Examples of fraud include:

  • Identity theft

  • Bankruptcy fraud

  • Tax fraud

  • Selling fraudulent goods or services

  • Securities fraud

  • Credit card fraud

  • Insurance fraud

Victims of fraud can be individuals or businesses. Individuals may be tricked into making purchases based on fraudulent claims, while businesses may suffer financial losses due to fraudulent claims.

Contact a Waukesha, WI Fraud Defense Lawyer

Working with an experienced Waukesha County, WI criminal defense lawyer is an excellent decision when you are facing fraud charges of any kind. Contact the office of Bucher, Wolff & Sonderhouse, LLP to schedule a free consultation and case review. Call 262-232-6699 to make an appointment with a member of our team today.

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