Fraudulent checks are checks that have been counterfeited or altered so that they can be used in order to deceive another party. They are sometimes used to authorize sales that the check writer is not actually eligible to perform. The checks may also be used to provide payments that the fraudster actually does not have.
Check fraud is a serious violation that can happen at many levels, ranging from small personal purchases to higher-level business schemes. It may also involve forgery, which is considered a felony in all fifty states.
In What Ways Can Checks Be Fraudulent?
There are many ways that a check can be fraudulent, including:
- The check itself was reproduced or counterfeited illegally
- The signature of the check was forged
- Various misrepresentations were made regarding the dollar amount of the check
- There are issues regarding the funds actually contained in the checking account, which is a major factor in check kiting
- The check was altered without proper authorization
Additionally, fraudulent checks are often connected with other white-collar crimes, such as embezzlement or money order fraud. Furthermore, identity theft is also commonly related to check fraud. If a person is able to steal a person’s identity, then they may be able to issue checks under the stolen name.
Are There Any Legal Penalties Associated with Fraudulent Checks?
Check fraud can often result in criminal charges, punishable by a jail sentence and/or criminal fines. In addition, the other parties may choose to file a civil lawsuit against the defendant in order to recover other damages caused by the fraudulent check. Even if a civil lawsuit is not filed, the criminal defendant may still be required to pay restitution to the victim to compensate them for any money illegally obtained through the act of check fraud.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with Fraudulent Check Issues?
Dealing with check fraud and other types of legal issues can be very daunting if you don’t have proper legal representation. You may wish to hire a criminal lawyer if you need assistance with any type of check fraud claims or legal actions. An attorney can provide you with advice and can represent you during any court hearings or meetings.