Colorado fraud, forgery, identity theft and bribery laws
Title 18, Article 5 of the Colorado Revised Statutes (C.R.S.) sets forth numerous fraud-related offenses. These are sometimes referred to generically as “white collar" crimes.
To help you get a general handle on fraud, our Colorado criminal defense lawyers discuss the following, below:
- 1. What is fraud?
- 2. Colorado fraud crimes
- 3. Colorado fraud penalties
- 4. Defenses to Colorado fraud charges
Generally speaking, you commit criminal fraud in Colorado whenever you:
- Engage in a wrongful act with the intent to gain an unfair or undeserved benefit for yourself, and/or
- Intentionally cause harm or loss to another person through such an act.
Colorado fraud is usually driven by either or both of two motives:
- financial gain, or
- an attempt to avoid liability for a crime (a cover-up).
The list of fraudulent acts Colorado punishes is long. While by no means an exhaustive list, some of the more common Colorado fraud charges are:
- Bribery, 18-5-401, C.R.S.
- Check fraud, 18–5–205, C.R.S., 18-5-512, C.R.S.
- Credit purchase fraud, 18–5–207, C.R.S.
- Forgery, 18–5–102, C.R.S.
- Identity theft, 18-5-902, C.R.S.
- Insurance fraud, 18-5-211, C.R.S.
- Money Laundering, 18–5–309, C.R.S.
- Prescription fraud, 18-18-415, C.R.S.
Colorado fraud offenses can be charged as petty offenses, misdemeanors or felonies depending on various factors, including:
- The value of the property involved,
- The nature of the property involved (for instance, drug crimes tend to be punished more severely)
- Your relationship to the victim, and
- Whether you had a fiduciary duty to the victim.
In general, smaller, personal offenses such as check kiting or fraudulently purchasing low-value items on credit are misdemeanors. Misdemeanor sentences can be as low as a $50 fine, or as much as:
- a $5,000 fine, and/or
- up to 18 months in jail.
Bribery, forgery, money laundering and prescription fraud, on the other hand, are felonies. Consequences of the most serious Colorado fraud charges can include:
- up to 24 years in Colorado prison, and/or
- a fine of up to $1,000,000.
Colorado fraud cases can be quite complex. So can defending a Colorado fraud case.
Fortunately, there are a variety of legal defenses a skilled Colorado criminal attorney can present on your behalf. Some of the most common include (but are not limited to):
- You didn't have fraudulent intent. Perhaps you wrote a bad check, legitimately thinking you had enough funds to cover it. Or you expected to have them before the check cleared.
- You were a victim of mistaken identity.
- The police lured you into committing a wrongful act (entrapment).
Call us for help…
People understandably get worked up when it comes to their money. They want someone to blame for their losses. As a result, innocent people often get accused of fraud. Or sometimes prosecutors overeager to make a name for themselves charge small acts of fraud as major financial crimes.
Our compassionate Colorado fraud defense lawyers understand how frightening and incomprehensible charges of fraud can seem. We understand the complexities involved in Colorado fraud cases. Whatever mistakes you've made, we can help.
If you or someone you know has been accused of fraud in Colorado, we invite you to contact us for a free consultation. We will listen to the facts of your case and discuss possible legal defenses and strategies.
Communities we serve include Denver, Colorado Springs, Aurora, Fort Collins, Lakewood, Thornton, Arvada, Westminster, and Centennial, as well as other locations throughout the state.
Reach out to us using the form on the page, or call us at our Denver home office:
Colorado Legal Defense Group
1400 16th Street
16 Market Square
Denver CO 80202