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The Increase in Fraud in a Down Economy

The Increase in Fraud in a Down Economy

Fraud has been on the rise in the United States for some time now. The increase in these occurrences coincides, not surprisingly, with our economy’s continued decline. States like South Carolina have been particularly hard-hit by the long recession.

It is important to remember that even though fraud is a white-collar crime, that does not mean the penalties for conviction are light, particularly since most are considered federal crimes. If suspicion falls on you for any alleged act of mortgage, tax, bank, healthcare, mail, or wire fraud, you need to contact a qualified defense attorney as soon as possible.

The high cost of fraud for defendants

One high profile case of mortgage fraud involved a scheme by a New Jersey man named Charles Harvath, who along with partners allegedly sought to profit from the sale of premier real estate owned by distressed developers and homeowners in several states, including South Carolina. They apparently used falsified loan applications and other fraudulent documents to obtain mortgage loans for unqualified borrowers. Estimates by federal authorities indicate that this scheme cost bank lenders more than $40 million. Harvath is now facing charges of bank, mortgage, and wire fraud, with penalties that could add up to 40 years in prison and $1.25 million in fines.

In a recent case of tax fraud, a couple, Yolanda Poz and Victor Angel Quiez Poz of Boiling Springs, South Carolina, participated in a multi-million dollar scheme in which Yolanda used her tax preparation business, Poz Servicios Para Hispanos, to prepare hundreds of falsified tax returns that generated refunds filers were actually not entitled to receive. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) suspects that she and her husband also made up some of the filers. Yolanda was sentenced to 46 months in prison, while her husband, an illegal alien, was sentenced to 24 months in prison and then faces deportation upon his release. Both will also forfeit $319,000.

If you are accused of fraud or being investigated for fraud, contact an attorney immediately

If you are facing charges of mortgage, tax, bank, healthcare, mail, or wire fraud in South Carolina, or learn you are the subject of a criminal investigation, you need to speak to fraud defense lawyer Jack B. Swerling as soon as possible. Call 24 hours a day at 800-701-0599 or use our contact form.

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  • Columbia Office
    1720 Main Street
    Suite 301
    Columbia, South Carolina 29201-2850
    Phone: 800-701-0599
    Fax: 803-799-4059