The Strauss Law Firm Embezzlement & Fraud Defense

The Strauss Law Firm Defends Criminal Embezzlement, Fraud and White Collar Charges

Insurance, Bank, Wire Fraud

Insurance Fraud
Insurance fraud occurs when any act is committed with the intent to fraudulently obtain some benefit or advantage to which they are not otherwise entitled or someone knowingly denies some benefit that is due and to which someone is entitled. According to the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation the most common schemes include: Premium Diversion, Fee Churning, Asset Diversion and Workers Compensation Fraud. The perpetrators in these schemes can be both insurance company employees and claimants. False insurance claims are insurance claims filed with the intent to defraud an insurance provider.

Bank Fraud
Bank fraud is the use of potentially illegal means to obtain money, assets, or other property owned or held by a financial institution, or to obtain money from depositors by fraudulently posing as a bank or other financial institution

Mortgage Fraud
Mortgage fraud is a criminal offense and primarily involves fraud against mortgage lenders. Generally speaking, it occurs when facts are misrepresented: the value of a house is inflated, or the lender is misled about the buyer’s income, credit history or financial situation.

The fraud can involve the mortgage broker, real estate agent, appraiser and/or the buyer. The result is that too much money is loaned, and the house is not worth what the buyer — and ultimately the lender — paid for it.

Mortgage fraud bilks financial institutions, but it can also be devastating for borrowers and their families. It is having a broad negative effect on our economy, property values, and financial markets. It is, moreover a criminal offense.

Wire Fraud
Every day, Texans lose money to scams and frauds.

There are three elements to mail and wire fraud:

  1. Intent;
  2. A “scheme or artifice to defraud” or the obtaining of property by fraud; and,
  3. A mail or wire communication.To be fraudulent, a misrepresentation must be material.

Mail fraud applies only to United States domestic mailings and use of interstate carriers (UPS, FedEx) which must originate in one state, and successfully terminate pursuant to the address label inside another state, a transportation that is termed “interstate” (over which Congress has power to regulate) and does require that the mailing cross at least one state line into another state; wire fraud has been expanded by Congress to include foreign wire communication or interstate connections via (i.e.) an e-mail server or telephone switch or radio communication.

If you have been arrested and charged with a White Collar crime call the Strauss Law Firm 24 Hour Help Line: 713-586-9200.

Bad Checks, Forgery, Loan Fraud

Bad Check and Theft by Check
Bad check(s) and theft by check is covered under Section 32.41 of the Texas Penal Code. The offense of “issuance of bad check” is a Class C misdemeanor. It is a crime for a person to issue or pass a check knowing that the person did not have sufficient funds on deposit with the bank to cover the check and any other check that was outstanding at the time the check was issued. The law presumes that the person knew that the check was bad if:
(i) the person had no account with the bank at the time of issuing the check, or
(ii) the person failed to pay the check within ten (10) days after receiving notice that the check was returned for “insufficient funds.”

Forgery is a type of fraud, theft by fraudulent means. In Texas the penalty for forgery can include prison or jail time, fine and restitution. The crime is generally charged as a “Class A” misdemeanor, which carries a sentence of no more than one year in a county jail and/or a fine of no more than $4,000. It may be elevated to a state jail felony if the writing is or purports to be a will, codicil, deed, deed of trust, mortgage, security instrument, security agreement, credit card, check, authorization to debit an account at a financial institution, or similar sight order for payment of money, contract, release, or other commercial instrument.

If you have been arrested or think that you under risk of arrest call the Strauss Law Firm 24 Hour Help Line: 713-586-9200.

Extortion, Credit Card Fraud, Real Estate Fraud

Extortion is a criminal act that occurs when a person obtains money, goods, or a desired action through violence or threats. Common terms associated with extortion are bribery, blackmail, hush money, and white-collar crime.

The factor that determines the severity of the punishment in Texas is the amount or value of the goods, services or cash that the defendant gains from the crime. For the smallest amounts ($50 and under), the charge will be a “Class C” misdemeanor carrying a penalty of a simple fine of up $500. The most serious charge will be for stealing $200,000 or more in goods, services or cash. This is considered a first degree felony and can be punishable by five to ninety-nine years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

Credit Card Fraud
Credit Card Fraud is a serious felony crime in Texas. The penalty can range from 180 days to two years in a state prison and/or a fine of no more than $10,000. However, if the offense was committed against an elderly person, the charge may be increased to that of a third degree felony. A third degree felony carries a penalty of two to ten years in a state prison and/or a fine of no more than $10,000.

Real Estate Fraud

If you have been arrested or think that you under risk of arrest call the Strauss Law Firm 24 Hour Help Line: 713-586-9200.

Identity Theft

Identity theft is a form of stealing someone’s identity in which someone pretends to be someone else by assuming that person’s identity, usually as a method to gain access to resources or obtain credit and other benefits in that person’s name. The victim of identity theft (here meaning the person whose identity has been assumed by the identity thief) can suffer adverse consequences if they are held responsible for the perpetrator’s actions. Identity theft occurs when someone uses another’s personally identifying information, like their name, identifying number, or credit card number, without their permission, to commit fraud or other crimes.

In Texas, identity theft is a felony. The severity of the felony depends on how many items were obtained, possessed or transferred by the defendant:

  • If the number of items is less than five, the penalty is a state jail felony, which carries a sentence of 180 days to two years in a state prison and/or a fine of no more than $10,000.
  • If the number of items is between five and nine, the penalty is a third degree felony, which carries a sentence of two to ten years in a state prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
  • If the number of items is between ten and forty-nine, the penalty is a second degree felony, which carries a sentence of two to twenty years in a state prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

If you have been arrested or are under investigation call the Strauss Law Firm 24 Hour Help Line: 713-586-9200.

Welfare, Workman’s Comp Fraud

A person commits an offense if the person, with the intent to obtain workers’ compensation insurance coverage under the workers’ compensation insurance laws
of this state or to avoid payment of premiums due for that coverage, for himself or another, knowingly or intentionally:

(1) makes a false statement;
(2) misrepresents or conceals a material fact; or
(3) makes a false entry in, fabricates, alters, conceals, or destroys a document other than a governmental record.
(b) An offense under Subsection (a) is:
(1) a Class A misdemeanor if the amount of premium avoided is less than $1,500; and
(2) a state jail felony if the amount of the premium avoided is $1,500 or more.
(c) The court may order a person to pay restitution to an insurance company, including the Texas Mutual Insurance Company, if the person commits an offense under this section.

Tax Evasion

If you have been arrested or are under investigation call the Strauss Law Firm 24 Hour Help Line: 713-586-9200.

The laws concerning any type of White Collar Crime are serious offenses in the state of Texas and can result in severe punishment including incarceration. There are enhanced minimum sentences when the offense is committed against a victim who is elderly, pregnant, incapacitated, in a public vehicle such as a bus or a train, between family members, when the victim is a law enforcement or correctional officer, and in other special circumstances.

If possible it is in your best interest to have an attorney with you at the time of arrest. During arrests, mistakes can occur than can both violate your legal rights and hinder evidence that could be used to defend you. Assault cases require not only an experienced and knowledgeable attorney with good defense strategies but an attorney is familiar with the local courts and law enforcement agencies.


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Brandon Strauss
The Strauss Law Firm
1001 Texas Ave, Suite 710
Houston, TX 77002
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Office: 713-223-9100
24 Hour Line: 713-586-9200
Fax: 713-223-9103

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