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Organized Scheme to Defraud in Florida

Florida Statute §817.034 states that if a person commits following crimes is considered to be classified under a scheme to defraud.

If engaged in a sequel of continuous acts of crime.
If a person has any intention to cheat any person to obtain the property illegally.
If one has made any sham promise, a bogus representation, or tried to fraud a person by pretenses. 

Organized Fraud

Organized fraud is only a scenario when a person acquires the property or convinces the property owner under a fraudulent scheme. This offense is punished severely.

The organized fraud does not require any electronic evidence or communication through the telephone while committing the fraudulent act. 

Communications Fraud

If a person is engaged in a scheme to defraud and the intentions of that person is getting property fraudulently. Also, he/she further communicates with someone else via mail, electronic or telephonic means. This act will be categorized as communications fraud.

Penalties for Scheme to Defraud

The dependence of the number of penalties for the Scheme to Defraud depends on the value of the property and it being organized or communication. 

Organized Fraud

The total aggregated amount of the property obtained through the fraud during a scheme to defraud determines the amount of penalty. The variation in penalties depends on total values as:

Value of organized fraud equal to or greater than $50,000
Value of organized fraud is greater than $20,000 and below $50,000
Value of organized fraud is no more than $20,000
Value of Organized Fraud equal to or greater than $50,000 

In Florida, when the scheme to defraud accounts for equal to or greater than $50,000 of total value is Felony of the first degree. According to Florida's Criminal Punishment Code, the severity of the level of offense assigned to it is 6.

If a person is found guilty of such charges, he/she may be handed any of the following penalties:
Imprisonment not more than thirty years
Probationary period not more than thirty years
A fine not more than $10,000 

--Value of Organized Fraud is greater than $20,000 and below $50,000:

If the total value of organized fraud is greater than $20,000 and below $50,000, it is categorized as a felony of the second degree. Also, as per the Criminal punishment code of Florida, it is ranked as an offense of level 5.

If a person is found guilty of such charges, he/she may be handed any of the following penalties:
Imprisonment not more than fifteen years
Probationary period, not more than fifteen years
A fine not more than $10,000

--Value of Organized Fraud is below $20,000:

The offense if the amount for less than $20,000 falls under this category of organized fraud. It is categorized as a felony of the third degree. Also, as per the Criminal punishment code of Florida, it is ranked as an offense of level 3. 

If a person is found guilty of such charges, he/she may be handed any of the following penalties:
Imprisonment not more than five years
Probationary period, not more than five years
A fine not more than $5,000 

Communications Fraud

The offense of Communication Fraud is based on the degree of communication. The punishment is also determined on the communication attempts, based on the Scheme to Defraud.

The punishment for Communications Fraud according to variability in value is as:

Value of communications fraud equal to or greater than $300

Value of communications fraud is below $300

Value of communications fraud is equal to or greater than $300

The value of Communication Fraud, if amounts equal to $300 or more obtained through fraudulent communication, fall under this category.

It is considered to be a Felony of Third Degree and is assigned the Level 3 of severity under the Criminal Punishment Code of Florida.

If a person is found guilty of such charges, he/she may be handed any of the following penalties:
Imprisonment not more than five years
Probationary period, not more than five years
A fine not more than $5,000 

Value of Communications Fraud is below $300

The value of Communication Fraud, if amount less than $300, obtained through fraudulent communication, falls under this category.

It is categorized as a First Degree Misdemeanor if the total value accounts for $300 or less.
If a person is found guilty of such charges, he/she may be handed any of the following penalties:
Imprisonment not more than one year
Probationary period not more than one
A fine not more than $500 

Defenses to Scheme to Defraud

The peculiar defenses to rise in the criminal case of Scheme to Defraud, apart from pretrial defenses and trial defenses are:

Double Jeopardy

Most of the Schemes to Defraud and theft are usually categorized under the broader core offenses. In this scenario, the conviction can be made only on one ground and not on multiple charges. Thus, any additional charge is suspended and is termed as Double Jeopardy.

Intent to Defraud

Intent to defraud is a scenario when the person is shown to have committed the act in good faith and is portrayed as if one had no intent to defraud anyone. 

Multiple Thefts

Multiple thefts account for a scenario when a person commits several crimes in a sequel, but still, it cannot be classified as Scheme to Defraud. To prove it as a organized scheme to defraud, it must be proved first that some offense was committed in the sequence of the theft, such as the use of bogus credit cards, interchanging price tags, and engagement in false returns. 

Contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Larry Avallone

If you have been charged or arrested in the Daytona Beach area, contact Larry Avallone, who is an expert Criminal Defense Lawyer in Volusia County. My initial consultation is completely free. I am ready to provide legal advice regarding the next steps in your case.

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