The Reality of Federal Fraud Charges
Federal fraud charges are some of the most serious allegations that can be leveled against an individual or group of individuals. Being found guilty of committing or of conspiracy to commit any of the following charges can lead to severe criminal penalties including jail time, fines and orders of restitution:
- Mortgage fraud
- Tax fraud/evasion
- Mail & wire fraud
- Medicare/Medicaid fraud
- Bank fraud
- Securities fraud
Real Housewives of New Jersey Stars Convicted in Federal Fraud Case
The Giudices of Real Housewives of New Jersey fame found out the hard way that IRS agents watch reality television just like the rest of America. As the couple flaunted their wealth and assets on one of cable TV’s hit shows, federal agents took notice of the couple’s 2009 filing for bankruptcy and began an investigation into the couple’s documents and declarations stemming from mortgage applications and their bankruptcy filing and income tax filings.
The government uses the cases of celebrities caught in these types of situations as a high profile warning to all American taxpayers. Ultimately, the Giudices were both convicted of several charges that stemmed from a 39 count indictment including alleged mortgage fraud, bankruptcy fraud, and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, among other charges.
When the indictment was handed down by the Grand Jury U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman noted in a statement that, “Everyone has an obligation to tell the truth when dealing with the courts, paying their taxes and applying for loans or mortgages. That’s reality.”
Serving Staggered Prison Sentences
Depending on the severity of the crimes you are charged with, if convicted, you could be mandated to a federal corrections facility for a period of anywhere from 6 months to 30 years. Additionally, any prior criminal record will be taken into consideration and could potentially impact the severity of the sentence.
The Giudices will be allowed to serve staggered sentences so that one parent may remain with the couple’s four children while the other is incarcerated. Mrs. Giudice will serve her 15 month sentence first, beginning in early 2015. Mr. Giudice will begin his 41 month sentence once his wife has completed her prison time, which is expected to be in 2016.
Paying Fines and Restitution
Fines, like prison sentences, vary based on the nature of the crime(s) in question. However, the government does not generally err on the side of leniency with regard to fines so most defendants who are convicted are burdened with heavy judgements. In the case of the Giudices they were ordered to pay tens of thousands of dollars in fines.
Additionally, if you are convicted of a charge such as tax fraud, the court can order you to pay restitution to your victim. In the case of income tax fraud, you will be paying compensation to the IRS as the Giudices were ordered to do to the tune of almost half a million dollars.
Limitations on Future Opportunities
In the case of the Giudices, Mrs. Giudice claims to earn income via various revenue streams from the lifestyle brand and products she developed as she appeared on television. Mrs. Giudice has by her own admission apparently lost various endorsement and product distribution deals due to her indictment on federal fraud charges and her resulting conviction and impending 15 month prison sentence.
This is a typical result in federal fraud cases regardless of if the defendant is a celebrity or not. A conviction in a federal fraud case generally leads to extreme hardship in terms of one’s ability to secure employment, obtain housing or obtain approval for loans.
Federal fraud charges are some of the most serious allegations a person can face in the United States of America. We are former prosecutors who know how the system works and will work to defend you every step of the way. If you are facing federal fraud charges, please don’t delay in contacting us.