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Organized Fraud



Understanding Organized Fraud in Florida

An introduction to the concept of organized fraud, highlighting its significance in Florida’s legal landscape. This section will cover the basic definition of organized fraud as outlined in Florida Statute 817.034, emphasizing the elements the state must prove for a conviction.

Understanding Organized Fraud in Florida

The Definition and Elements of Organized Fraud

Detailed explanation of what constitutes organized fraud, including the legal definition of “scheme to defraud” and how the state categorizes the act of obtaining property through fraudulent means.

Organized fraud in Florida, as per Statute 817.034, encompasses a broad spectrum of fraudulent activities, aiming to deceive and obtain property unlawfully. It’s not just about a single act of fraud, but a systematic, ongoing course of conduct designed to defraud one or more persons.

What exactly is a “Scheme to Defraud”? It means engaging in a systematic, ongoing course of conduct with the intent to defraud one or more persons, or with the intent to obtain property from one or more persons by false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises or willful misrepresentations of a future act.

For a conviction of organized fraud in Florida, the state prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant engaged in a scheme to defraud and, from this scheme, obtained property. This can include, but is not limited to, real property, tangible or intangible personal property, rights, privileges, interests, claims, and services.

The value of the property obtained plays a crucial role in determining the severity of the charges. Organized fraud can range from a third-degree felony for values less than $20,000, to a first-degree felony for values exceeding $50,000, carrying significant penalties including imprisonment and fines.

If you find yourself facing charges of organized fraud, it’s crucial to seek experienced legal representation. The Orlando Fraud Crimes Defense Lawyer team at Leppard Law is well-versed in the complexities of fraud cases and can provide the defense strategy you need. Contact us at 407-476-4111 to discuss your case and explore your legal options.

Penalties for Organized Fraud Convictions

The consequences of being convicted for organized fraud in Florida are severe and vary significantly based on the value of the property involved. Understanding these penalties is crucial for anyone facing charges, as the impact on one’s life can be profound and long-lasting.

Penalties for Organized Fraud Convictions

Impact of Fraud Value on Sentencing

The value of the property obtained through fraudulent means directly influences the severity of the punishment. Florida law categorizes organized fraud into three tiers based on the aggregate value of the property:

  • Less than $20,000: This is considered a third-degree felony, potentially leading to up to 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
  • $20,000 to less than $50,000: Classified as a second-degree felony, this can result in up to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
  • $50,000 or more: This is treated as a first-degree felony, with penalties including up to 30 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

It’s important to note that these penalties represent the base consequences and can be enhanced based on other factors, such as the defendant’s criminal history or the use of sophisticated means to commit the fraud.

How does the value of the property affect the sentencing in organized fraud cases? The aggregate value of the property obtained dictates the degree of the felony charge, which in turn determines the potential penalties, including imprisonment and fines.

Beyond the immediate legal penalties, a conviction for organized fraud can have a lasting impact on an individual’s life, affecting employment opportunities, professional licenses, and personal relationships. The stigma of a fraud conviction can be challenging to overcome, making it essential to seek skilled legal defense.

If you or someone you know is facing charges of organized fraud, it’s crucial to act quickly to protect your rights and future. The Orlando Fraud Crimes Defense Lawyer team at Leppard Law has the expertise and dedication to provide a robust defense against these charges. Don’t let a fraud charge define your future. Contact us today at 407-476-4111 for a consultation and to learn more about how we can help.

Examples of Organized Fraud Schemes

In the ever-evolving landscape of fraud, understanding the various forms it can take is crucial. Organized fraud schemes in Florida have become increasingly sophisticated, leveraging both technology and traditional methods to deceive and defraud. Here, we delve into real-life examples and hypothetical scenarios to shed light on the complexities of organized fraud.

Technology-Based vs. Traditional Fraud Schemes

The distinction between technology-based and traditional fraud schemes is significant, reflecting the shift in how criminals operate in the digital age versus more conventional methods. Below, we compare these two types of schemes to provide a clearer picture of the organized fraud landscape.

  • Technology-Based Schemes: These involve the use of digital tools and platforms, such as email phishing, identity theft through online data breaches, and scams executed via social media or text messaging. An example includes a group defrauding the government by filing fraudulent tax returns online to receive tax refunds, exploiting the anonymity and reach of the internet.
  • Traditional Fraud Schemes: These rely on more direct, often face-to-face interactions or the use of non-digital communication methods. Examples include pyramid schemes, telemarketing scams where victims are convinced to pay for non-existent services, and contractor scams involving individuals claiming to perform work that is never completed.

What distinguishes technology-based fraud schemes from traditional ones? Technology-based schemes utilize digital means to execute fraud, while traditional schemes often involve direct interactions or non-digital methods.

Both types of schemes have been prevalent in Florida, with technology-based fraud becoming increasingly common due to the anonymity and scalability it offers. However, traditional schemes continue to persist, often targeting older or less tech-savvy individuals.

Examples of each type of scheme include:

  • Technology-Based: A notorious case involved hackers infiltrating a company’s email system to send fraudulent invoices, leading to significant financial loss.
  • Traditional: A classic example is the Ponzi scheme, where new investor funds are used to pay returns to earlier investors, creating the illusion of a profitable business until the scheme collapses.

If you suspect you’ve been targeted by an organized fraud scheme, or if you’re facing charges related to fraud, it’s imperative to seek experienced legal counsel. The Orlando Fraud Crimes Defense Lawyer team at Leppard Law is well-versed in both technology-based and traditional fraud schemes, offering the expertise and support needed to navigate these complex legal issues. Contact us today at 407-476-4111 to discuss your case and explore your defense options.


Defenses Against Organized Fraud Charges

When facing charges of organized fraud in Florida, the situation may seem overwhelming. However, with the right legal strategy and a skilled attorney, there are several defenses that can be employed to challenge the prosecution’s case. Understanding these defenses is crucial for anyone accused of organized fraud, as they can significantly impact the outcome of the case.

Challenging the Prosecution’s Case

One of the primary strategies in defending against organized fraud charges involves directly challenging the evidence and arguments presented by the prosecution. This can take several forms, from questioning the validity of the evidence to disputing the interpretation of actions and intent. Here are some of the key areas where a defense attorney might focus their efforts:

  • Disproving the Elements of Fraud: The prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant engaged in a scheme to defraud and obtained property as a result. Challenging the existence of a “scheme” or the defendant’s involvement can be a potent defense.
  • Challenging the Valuation of Property: The severity of fraud charges often depends on the value of the property involved. Disputing the valuation presented by the prosecution can lead to reduced charges or even dismissal in some cases.
  • Questioning Intent: Proving intent is a cornerstone of fraud charges. A defense attorney may argue that the defendant had no intention to defraud, which can be a compelling argument against the charges.
  • Exposing Flaws in the Prosecution’s Evidence: Any inconsistencies, inaccuracies, or unlawful methods used to gather evidence can be grounds for challenging the prosecution’s case.

Understanding the nuances of organized fraud defenses is essential. Whether it’s questioning the intent to defraud or challenging the evidence, a skilled attorney can navigate these complexities to protect your rights.

It’s also worth noting that each case is unique, and the approach to defense should be tailored to the specific circumstances and evidence at hand. This is where the expertise of Florida Organized Fraud Defense Lawyers becomes invaluable. They can assess the situation, identify the most effective defenses, and advocate on your behalf.

For anyone facing organized fraud charges, the importance of experienced legal representation cannot be overstated. The team at Leppard Law is well-versed in the intricacies of fraud cases and is committed to providing a defense that is both vigorous and personalized. If you or someone you know is dealing with organized fraud charges, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at 407-476-4111 for a consultation. Together, we can work towards achieving the best possible outcome for your case.

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Remember, the key to a successful defense lies in a thorough understanding of the law, meticulous preparation, and a strategic approach to challenging the prosecution’s case. With the right legal team on your side, you can navigate the complexities of organized fraud charges and fight for your rights and freedom.


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What exactly is organized fraud?

Organized fraud refers to a systematic, ongoing course of conduct with the intent to defraud one or more persons, or to obtain property from one or more persons by false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises. This includes schemes that deprive others of their property or rights by deceitful or dishonest means.

How is organized fraud prosecuted in Florida?

Prosecuting organized fraud in Florida requires proving that the defendant engaged in a scheme to defraud and obtained property as a result. The state must establish both the existence of a fraudulent scheme and the defendant’s intent to defraud, along with the actual acquisition of property through fraudulent means.

What are the penalties for organized fraud?

The penalties for organized fraud in Florida vary based on the value of the property obtained. They can range from third-degree felonies for amounts less than $20,000, to first-degree felonies for amounts exceeding $50,000, potentially leading to significant fines and prison time.

How can one defend against organized fraud charges?

Defending against organized fraud charges often involves challenging the prosecution’s evidence, disputing the intent to defraud, or arguing the legality of how evidence was obtained. Experienced defense attorneys may also negotiate for reduced charges based on specific case details.

For detailed defense strategies, consider consulting with a skilled attorney such as those at Florida Organized Fraud Defense Lawyers.

In addition to Organized Fraud, we offer a wide range of legal services to meet the diverse needs of Florida residents. Explore our additional practice areas below:

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List of Top-Rated Organized Fraud Attorneys Serving Florida

Choosing the right legal representation is pivotal in Organized Fraud cases. A dedicated attorney by your side ensures you’re well-informed and prepared at every step. Our team of top-rated lawyers is here to guide you through the complexities of the legal system.

  • John Vallillo: Known for his meticulous approach and dedication, John Vallillo provides comprehensive legal representation tailored to your unique situation.
  • Joe Easton: With a focus on favorable outcomes, Joe Easton employs strategic defenses to challenge charges and secure the best possible results for you.
  • Joel Leppard: As the driving force behind Leppard Law, Joel Leppard’s innovative strategies and personal commitment to each case have established him as a leader in fraud defense.

Discover What Our Clients Are Saying

At Leppard Law, we pride ourselves on the hard work and dedication we bring to each case. Our clients’ positive feedback is a testament to our commitment to achieving the best outcomes for those we represent.



Infographic depicting the words Organized Fraud

Take the First Step Towards a Strong Defense Against Organized Fraud Charges

Being accused of organized fraud can be an overwhelming experience, casting a shadow over your future and reputation. But you don’t have to face this challenge alone. At Leppard Law: Fraud Defense Attorneys, we understand the intricacies of these cases and the importance of a personalized, aggressive defense strategy.

Our team, led by highly skilled attorneys, has a proven track record of navigating the complexities of fraud cases with dedication and expertise. We leverage our deep understanding of the law, our experience as former prosecutors, and cutting-edge technology to ensure you receive the best possible defense.

Why choose us for your defense?

  • Personal Relationship With Your Attorney: We believe in building a personal connection with each client. You’re not just a case number to us; you’re family. This approach ensures that we fight for you with the same zeal we would for our loved ones.
  • Comprehensive Legal Expertise: Our attorneys are not only recognized for their legal prowess but also for their commitment to client satisfaction. We’ve been named among the “Best Criminal Defense Lawyers in Orlando” by Expertise from 2016-2024, highlighting our dedication to excellence.
  • Client-Centered Service: Your voice is our mission. We prioritize clear, consistent communication, ensuring you’re informed and empowered throughout your case. Our tech-savvy approach means we’re always accessible, providing timely updates and answers to your questions.

Don’t let the stress of organized fraud charges disrupt your life any longer. Reach out to Leppard Law: Fraud Defense Attorneys today at 407-476-4111 for a free consultation. Experience firsthand our unwavering commitment to securing the best outcome for your case. Your defense starts now.

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With awards and recognitions that speak to our commitment and success, we’re ready to put our expertise to work for you. Contact us at 407-476-4111 to schedule your free consultation and take the first step towards peace of mind and a strong defense.

Legally Reviewed by Joe Easton

Expert Attorney

Legally reviewed by Joe Easton and the content team, this article reflects the firm’s 60 years of combined criminal defense expertise. Joe Easton, with his extensive experience and strategic prowess in DUI and criminal defense, offers more than just legal representation; he brings a commitment to turning legal challenges into triumphs. His approach, combining tenacity in the courtroom with personalized client care, ensures your case is not just defended but championed with dedication and expertise.

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