| Read Time: 2 minutes | Criminal Defense

Tavares Mayor Accused of Fraud

Fraud is serious. Just ask recently arrested Tavares Mayor, Robert Wolfe. Mayor Wolfe is accused of committing fraud by submitting a false claim to his insurance company for $9,300 worth of damage to his home. It is alleged that Mayor Wolfe submitted a claim to his insurance company that he was forced to move out of his home due to damage from a leaky sink, but the insurance company claims that this never happened. Now, not only has Mayor Wolfe been accused of a serious felony but Governor Scott has removed him from office. Currently, Mayor Wolfe is standing accused of one count of insurance fraud. However, the State Attorney’s Office could add charges depending upon the evidence. Depending upon how the claim was made these additional charges could include perjury and grand theft. Our firm has seen a significant increase in the prosecution of these cases. Not only are local law enforcement agencies investigating these cases, but so are statewide agencies including FDLE and the Department of Financial Services. These statewide agencies are typically investigating fraudulent acts where the government is the victim. Insurance fraud, credit card fraud, tax fraud, and other “white collar” crimes are frequently prosecuted and must be handled by defense attorneys that have knowledge of how these types of cases are handled. The attorney must be prepared to examine the financial documents that are being used as evidence and have the required understanding to determine if the documents can prove the alleged crime. If you are being investigated for fraud do not speak with the investigator. Do not try to clear this up yourself. Do not try to explain the situation. Remember these investigators have a job and that job is to provide evidence of the alleged fraud. If you are contacted by an investigator contact an attorney. Allow the criminal lawyer to contact the detective. Allow the attorney to speak with the Assistant State Attorney or Assistant US Attorney. Trying to this yourself will only lead to problems. Too often I have had clients who try to tell “there side of the story”. If you have been contacted by law enforcement, or have been arrested for fraudulent activity contact a criminal attorney who handles these types of cases. The criminal defense attorneys at Moses and Rooth Attorney at Law are experienced in defending those accused of fraudulent activity. Contact us at 407-377-0150 and set up a free consultation. Let us assist you in making sure that your rights are protected.

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| Read Time: < 1 minute | Tax Crimes

Tax fraud charges can be civil or criminal

In the criminal law, it is usually necessary for prosecutors to prove that a defendant had a certain mental state. Law students learn a term for this: “mens rea.” This is a Latin phrase referring to the mental element of an offense. Consider, for example, the crime of tax fraud. There is a big difference between good faith errors in completing a return, on the one hand, and deliberate efforts to mislead the IRS, on the other. In our recent article on tax fraud charges in a Florida case, we noted the issue of limits on how long the IRS can look back in its investigations of taxpayers. The rule of thumb is that IRS is normally limited to looking back only three years after a tax return is filed to conduct an audit. If, however, the IRS has reason to believe that a taxpayer has underreported income by more than 25 percent, the normal three-year period is extended. In fact, it is doubled and becomes six years. But what if the underreporting was deliberate or a taxpayer willfully failed to file taxes? It is here that the distinction between civil fraud and criminal fraud comes into play. It is often said in cases of fraud, the statute of limitations does not run out. But it is important to be clear whether one is talking about civil fraud or criminal fraud. Criminal fraud and criminal tax evasion are offenses that involve a whole different level of “mens rea” than honest errors in tax compliance or even civil fraud.

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