A Little White Lie Can Lead to Serious Fraud Charges in Delaware
For many people, the concept of Delaware fraud crimes generates thoughts of complex, comprehensive schemes to scam the government, investors, or general public for financial gain. You might be surprised to learn that even a seemingly innocent misstatement can lead to an arrest on fraud charges. The US Sentencing Commission reports that there were 112 federal fraud convictions in 2019, which were based upon misrepresentations made in connection with residential mortgage applications. Plus, the Insurance Information Institute found that three-quarters of insurance companies reported increases in the number of insurance fraud claims in a wide range of sectors, including claims for auto, homeowners, and business coverage.
From these statistics, you can guess that Delaware authorities are not only pursuing the large-scale, high-dollar fraud schemes: Even what you would classify as a little white lie could lead to serious charges and substantial penalties. You can count on a New Castle County fraud defense attorney for assistance with a pending case, but it is important to understand how dishonesty can lead to severe consequences.
The Lie: “I do not know how the fire started.”
The Crime: Homeowners Insurance Fraud
It is tempting to file a bogus insurance claim to obtain funds under your homeowners insurance policy, especially when you can create the damage yourself. Whether you provide information on an intentionally set fire, fake burglary, or deliberate flooding, your false statements in connection with a claim can come back to haunt you through fraud charges.
The Lie: “I make $X per year in salary.”
The Crime: Mortgage Income Fraud
You want the bank to approve a loan to purchase your dream home, so you might think it makes sense to stretch the trust when it comes to your income – or to minimize what you owe in debt and other legal obligations. The risk for the lender is extreme under these circumstances, which is why officials crack down on mortgage fraud.
The Lie: “I do not suffer from any pre-existing medical conditions.”
The Crime: Life Insurance Fraud
When you know that a medical condition would impact an insurer’s decision in underwriting a life insurance policy, it is illegal to omit the information in filling out your application.
The Lie: “My primary residence is at this address.”
The Crime: Auto Insurance Fraud
Auto insurers base rates upon your risk of being involved in an accident, and much of your driving will obviously occur around your home. The potential for crashes will be higher in urban areas, as is theft and criminal activity that could cause damage to your vehicle. It is auto insurance fraud to tell the company that you live in a rural neighborhood just to get lower rates.
Trust a Delaware Fraud Defense Lawyer for Advice and Legal Help
These little white lies – as well as extravagant, massive misrepresentations – can lead to big legal headaches and implications you never expected. As such, it is critical to retain experienced counsel if you are facing charges. For more information on our criminal defense services, please contact Wilmington fraud & identity theft lawyer Michael W. Modica. You can set up a consultation at our office by calling 302.600.1262 or checking out our website.