3 Types Of Occupational Fraud In The Florida Construction Industry
The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) conducts an annual analysis of the numerous instances of fraudulent conduct across all industries, and the 2020 Report to the Nations may come as a shock. Companies in the US experienced a median loss of $139,000 in the US, but 21 percent of these cases led to losses topping $1 million. The vast majority of schemes occur right under the organization’s roof, as executives and employees take advantage of their positions to engage in occupational fraud. On average, Florida companies experience a 5 percent loss of revenue because of internal scams.
These are the kind of numbers that spur action within the law enforcement community, who will intensely investigate, pursue, and prosecute offenders. It is wise to retain a Florida criminal defense lawyer at the first indication that you are the subject of a probe, as you do have rights even before arrest. You can also review the following information about occupational fraud.
- Corruption: Most often occurring among senior management, corruption involves an employee’s misuse of influence to gain something of value. Examples are bribery and extortion, which are illegal ways of affecting the actions of a public servant or other official. However, conflicts of interest conducted through sales and purchasing scams may also be criminal corruption.
- Asset Misappropriation: With this type of occupational fraud, law enforcement will typically charge a suspect with diverting cash, assets, inventory, or other resources. Asset misappropriation schemes often encompass:
- Theft of petty cash;
- Taking or altering receipts;
- Creating shell companies or ghost employees;
- Falsifying employee records; and
- Faking expense reports.
- Financial Statement Fraud: Misrepresentations of net worth and income are common with this type of occupational fraud. Offenders may be charged with improperly valuing assets, understating revenue, or concealing records, since most financial statements are sworn to under oath.
Penalties for a Fraud Conviction
Florida treats fraud cases similar to theft crimes, so the nature of the charges and punishment depend upon the value of the misappropriated property. You could be facing misdemeanor charges, but most occupational fraud cases are prosecuted as felonies because of the number of instances and amount defrauded.
- For a Third Degree Felony, you could be sentenced up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
- The maximum prison term for a Second Degree Felony is 15 years.
- The most serious form of fraud is a First Degree Felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison.
Note that a court may also order restitution after a fraud conviction, so you may have to pay back the amounts misappropriated – with interest.
Consult with a South Florida Criminal Defense Attorney Right Away
If you believe you are being investigated for occupational fraud or were recently arrested, time is of the essence to retain experienced legal counsel. Our team at Linkhorst & Hockin, P.A. is prepared to defend your interests, so please contact our offices in Jupiter, FL to schedule a consultation. Once we assess your situation, we can develop a strategy for fighting the charges.