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Ohio Federal Fraud Crimes

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Ohio Federal Fraud Crimes

Fraud is considered a deliberate scheme to obtain financial or similar gain by using false statements, misrepresentations, concealment of important information, or deceptive conduct. Federal fraud statutes and most state laws require proof of a “scheme or artifice” to defraud.

Fraud is distinct from criminal offenses categorized as theft. Theft typically involves directly obtaining something of value by stealing it or using threatening force. However, fraud involves a “scheme or artifice” using false statements or pretenses to obtain something of value. Fraud is considered a white-collar crime, unlike most types of theft crimes.

Ohio Federal Fraud Crime Attorney, Cincinnati

Fraud charges are extremely serious. Those convicted of these crimes can face steep penalties. A conviction can also jeopardize a person’s freedom. If you have been accused of federal fraud, it is imperative that you work with a skilled Cincinnati defense lawyer who is willing to advocate on your behalf to protect your legal rights. Contact Joslyn Law Firm today.

To schedule a free consultation with Joslyn Law Firm, call (513) 399-6289. Joslyn Law Firm serves the greater Cincinnati area including nearby counties such as Hamilton County, Butler County, Warren County, Brown County, and Clermont County.


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Information Center


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Types Of Fraud Prohibited By Federal Law

Bankruptcy Fraud (18 U.S.C. § 157)

A person commits bankruptcy fraud if he devises or intends to devise a scheme (or artifice) to defraud, execute, or conceal such a scheme and files a petition under the Bankruptcy Code (Title 11). Also considered fraud is the filing of a fraudulent involuntary petition.

It is also bankruptcy fraud if a person files a document in a proceeding under the Bankruptcy Code, or makes a false representation, claim, or promise concerning a Bankruptcy Code proceeding before or after filing the petition. This law also applies to Bankruptcy Code proceedings falsely asserted to be pending.

Bankruptcy fraud is a felony. It is punishable by up to five years in federal prison or a fine of up to $250,000 ($500,000 for an organization).

Citizenship Fraud (18 U.S.C. § 911)

Under federal false personation laws, anyone who falsely and willfully represents himself to be a citizen of the United States is guilty of a federal criminal offense. This crime is punishable by up to three years imprisonment or a fine of up to $250,000.

Identity Theft Fraud (18 U.S.C. §§ 1028, 1028A)

It is a criminal offense if any person knowingly and without lawful authority produces, transfers, or possesses the intent to use an identification document, authentication feature unlawfully, or a false identification document. Examples of identification documents include U.S. Social Security cards, passports, state-issued driver’s licenses, and birth certificates.

The penalties for identity theft fraud include up to fifteen years imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000 ($500,000 for an organization). The penalty is up to twenty years imprisonment if this crime is committed:

  • In connection with a crime of violence; or
  • After a prior conviction for a similar offense under this federal statute.

The sentence is up to thirty years’ imprisonment if the crime is committed to facilitating an act of domestic or international terrorism. Also, if this crime is committed related to another felony, it is considered an aggravated form of identity theft, and additional penalties apply.

Computer Fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1030)

Federal law criminalizes fraud and similar computer-related activities. It is defined as intentionally accessing a computer without authorization to gather the following:

  • Information contained in a financial record of a financial institution, or of a card issuer, or contained in a file of a consumer reporting agency on a consumer;
  • Information from any department or agency of the United States; or
  • Information from any protected computer;

Using a computer to knowingly and intentionally defraud someone to obtain something of value worth more than $5,000 is punishable by one year in jail.

The penalties for computer fraud are up to ten years in prison or a fine of up to $250,000 for an individual ($500,000 for an organization). A second or subsequent conviction increases the sentence to up to twenty years imprisonment.

Mail And Wire Fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1343)

Any person who devises or intends to devise any scheme to defraud, obtain money or property by pretenses, transmits some writing or expression using wire, radio, or television communication in interstate or foreign commerce, to execute a fraudulent scheme, is subject to up to twenty years in prison, and a fine of up to $1 million, or both. Interstate communication includes using the United States Postal Service, a private mail carrier, telephone, internet, radio, television, interstate communication, or international wire communication.

Bank Fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1344)

It is a criminal offense under federal law to knowingly execute or attempt to execute a scheme:

  • to defraud a financial institution; or
  • to obtain money, funds, credits, assets, securities, or other property owned by, or under the custody or control of, a financial institution through false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises.

The penalties for this offense consist of a fine of up to $1,000,000 or imprisonment of up to thirty years.

Health Care Fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1347)

Any person who:

  • knowingly and willfully executes or attempts to execute
  • a scheme to defraud any health care benefit program; or
  • to obtain, by fraudulent pretenses,
  • any of the money or property owned by, or under the custody or control of,
  • any health care benefit program, in connection with the delivery of or payment for health care benefits, items, or services, is guilty of a criminal offense under federal law.

Anyone who violates this statute is subject to fines, imprisonment of not more than ten years, or both. If the violation results in serious bodily injury, the minimum sentence is twenty years. If the violation results in death, the minimum penalty is life.

Securities Fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1348)

Any person who:

  • knowingly executes or attempts to execute,
  • a scheme to defraud any person in connection with any commodity, or
  • any security of an issuer with a class of registered securities is guilty of a criminal offense under federal law.

Anyone who knowingly executes, or attempts to execute, a scheme using false means to get money or property is guilty of a criminal offense under federal law.

Securities fraud includes Ponzi or pyramid schemes, embezzlement, and foreign currency fraud. Offenders are subject to fines of up to $250,000 ($500,000 for an organization), imprisonment of not more than twenty-five years, or both.

Tax Fraud (26 U.S.C. § 7201)

Any person who willfully tries evading taxes is guilty of a felony. A judge may sentence this felon to a fine of not more than $100,000 ($500,000 in the case of a corporation), imprisonment not more than five years, or both, along with the prosecution costs.


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Statute Of Limitations

The statute of limitations for federal fraud crimes is five years. After this time passes, the prosecution cannot file fraud charges unless an exception applies. (18 U.S.C. § 3282).


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Defenses to Federal Fraud Crimes

Some common defenses to fraud charges are:

  • Good faith
  • Lack of intent
  • Lack of knowledge
  • Entrapment
  • Representations were not fraudulent
  • Mistaken Identity

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Additional Resources

Federal Trade Commission (“F.T.C.”) Fraud Reporting Tool – The F.T.C. uses consumer reports to investigate and initiate prosecution for fraud, scams, and bad business practices.

Department of Justice (“D.O.J.”) Fraud Section – This section of the D.O.J.’s website provides detailed information relating to the various fraud types.


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Cincinnati Federal Fraud Crime Attorney, Ohio

If you have been arrested for a federal fraud crime, speak with one of our attorneys at Joslyn Law Firm. We have helped countless clients facing fraud charges on both the state and federal level. Our attorneys understand that a fraud conviction can put your freedom at stake. Allow us to preserve your rights and advocate on your behalf.

To schedule a consultation, call (513) 399-6289 today. Joslyn Law Firm serves the greater Cincinnati area including nearby counties such as Hamilton County, Brown County, Butler County,Warren County, and Clermont County.


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  • Brian Joslyn was named Best Lawyer in 2019 by Birdeye.
  • Columbus CEO magazine has yearly selections for the best attorneys in Columbus Ohio. Brian Joslyn has been identified as one of the most highly skilled attorneys across central Ohio.
  • Brian Joslyn has earned recognition for community leadership by Lawyer LegionLawyer Legion
  • Preeminent Attorney Award. Peer rated for highest level of professional excellence.
  • The Better Business Bureau (BBB), founded in 1912, is a private, nonprofit organization whose self-described mission is to focus on advancing marketplace trust.

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