Not all crimes involve violence, drugs, or alcohol. Under Texas law, there are over twenty different acts that fall under the criminal fraud category and can be punished from a Class C Misdemeanor all the way up to a First Degree Felony.
What Constitutes Fraud in Texas?
Fraud crimes are essentially those involving deceiving someone for your own financial gain, often to the detriment of the other person. The Texas legislature spells out different ways someone can commit fraud under the Texas Penal Code. These acts typically require someone to act intentionally.
Keep in mind that certain well-known types of fraud, such as counterfeiting or healthcare fraud, are federal crimes that would be tried in a federal court instead of a Texas court.
Common Fraudulent Acts in Texas
Credit Card/Debit Card Abuse: This includes using someone’s card without their consent, stealing or buying stolen credit cards, and buying or selling fake credit cards.
Fraudulent Use of Debit Card or Debit Card Information: Obtaining, possessing, transferring, or using counterfeit credit/debit cards or credit card numbers or digital imprint without the owner’s consent.
Credit Card Transaction Record Laundering: When an authorized vendor presents a charge to the credit card company when the transaction did not actually occur. Must be done with fraudulent intent by the vendor.
Forgery: When you alter or manufacture a “writing” with the intent to deceive or harm others. A writing includes printings, money, and symbols of identification. If the forgery involves a will, deed, title, or other financial instrument, the crime is a state jail felony.
Criminal Simulation: Altering an item to make it seem more valuable because of its purported age, rarity or antiquity.
Stealing or Receiving a Stolen Check or Similar Sight Order: Stealing someone’s unsigned check (or similar device) or knowingly receiving a stolen check with the intention to use it, sell it, or transfer it.
Issuance of a Bad Check or Similar Sight Order: This statute applies when someone writes a check (or similar device) knowing that they have insufficient funds to cover it. This is also known as writing a “hot check.”
Fraudulent Transfer of a Motor Vehicle: Transferring a vehicle to a third party without receiving authorization from the security interest or lien-holder.
Misapplication of Fiduciary Property or Property of Financial Institution: When someone holds property as a fiduciary or property of a financial institution and intentionally or recklessly manages it in a way that involves substantial risk of loss to the owner.
Securing Execution of Document by Deception: Typically occurs when one person, with intent to defraud, deceives another into signing or executing a document that involves the property, service, or pecuniary interest of that person.
Fraudulent Use or Possession of Identifying Information: This is essentially an “identity theft” statute that makes it a crime to possess the identifying information of one or more persons (alive or deceased) without their consent.
Exploitation of Child, Elderly Individual, or Disabled Individual: Improperly using the resources of a child, elderly, or disabled person for monetary or personal gain.
A complete list of fraudulent criminal acts can be found under Chapter 32 of the Texas Penal Code.
Hire an Austin Fraud Attorney
Fraud crimes are serious offenses that can carry serious jail time. Zealous representation can make all the difference. The attorneys at Stephen T. Bowling & Associates know what it takes to fight fraud charges. If you or a loved one is being charged with a fraud offense, you need a qualified Austin Fraud Attorney to protect your rights. Contact us today for a consultation.
written by Alexis Guadarrama