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It is a popular belief that fraud crimes do not have a victim, because the banks or bigger institutions will end up paying the money instead of the victim. However, Georgia doesn’t see it that way, because fraud costs taxpayers lots of money and increases the costs of doing business. Writing bad checks or stealing someone’s account information and/or debit card will cost you more than the check or amount taken in the first place.
Definitions & penalties:
- First Degree Forgery: with the intent to defraud he/she knowingly makes, alters, or possesses any other writing, other than a check, in a fake name or the writing as made claims to be made by another person, at another time, with different terms, or with another’s permission who didn’t give such permission and offers the writing to another or delivers it
- Second Degree Forgery: same definition as First Degree except there is no requirement to offer the writing to another or deliver it
- Third Degree Forgery: with the intent to defraud he/she knowingly: (1) makes, alters, possesses, offers, or delivers any check that is $1,500 or more in a fake name or the check as made claims to have been made by another person, at another time, with different terms, or with another’s permission who didn’t give such permission; or (2) possesses 10 or more blank checks in a fake name or the check as made claims to have been made by another person, at another time, with different terms, or with another’s permission who didn’t give such permission
- Fourth Degree Forgery: same definition as Third Degree except (1) the amount is less than $1,500; or (2) possesses less than 10 checks
- Forgery Penalties:
- First Degree Forgery: 1 year to 15 years in jail.
- Second Degree Forgery: 1 year to 5 years in jail.
- Third Degree Forgery: 1 year to 5 years in jail.
- Fourth Degree Forgery: misdemeanor, but if 3 or more prior convictions then 1 year to 5 years in jail
- Deposit Account Fraud:makes, draws, offers, completes, or delivers an instrument for money from a bank or other establishment for present value knowing the instrument is no good
- Deposit Account Fraud Penalties:
- If the instrument is less than $500, then up to 12 months in jail and/or $500 fine
- If the instrument is $500 to $1,000, then up to 12 months in jail and/or $1,000 fine
- If the instrument is $1000 to $1,500, or separate instruments given to the same company within a 15 day period adding up $1,000 to $1,500, then high and aggravated misdemeanor
- If the instrument is $1,500 or more, then up to 3 years in jail and/or $500 to $5,000 fine
- If the drawee (the person who is expected to pay when the instrument is offered for payment) is a bank in another state, then 1 year to 5 years in jail and/or up to $1,000 fine.
- Financial Transaction Card (FTC)Theft: (1) takes, gets, or withholds a financial transaction card (FTC) from someone else’s person, possession or custody without the cardholder’s permission; or knows the FTC has been taken, gotten, or withheld from the cardholder without their permission and gets the FTC with the intent to use, sell, or transfer it to another, (2) receives a FTC that he/she knows that was lost, mislaid, or delivered by mistake and keeps the FTC for the purpose of using it, selling it, or transferring it; (3) he/she, not the company responsible for supplying the FTC, sells or buys a FTC from a person other than the company, or (4) during any 12 month period receives 2 or more FTCs in other people’s names which he/she has reason to know was taken or kept for purposes stated in (3).
- FTC Theft Penalties: 1 to 3 years and/or $5,000 fine.
- Financial Transaction Card (FTC) Fraud:(a) with the intent to defraud the company responsible for supplying the financial transaction card (FTC), one providing anything of value, or any other person, he/she (1) uses, with the intent of getting something of value in return, a FTC, which was received knowing it was gotten or kept in violation of FTCT or Forgery of a FTC, or is forged, changed, expired, revoked, or gotten as a result of a fraudulent application; (2) gets anything of value by claiming to be the cardholder without the cardholder’s permission, (3) gets control over a FTC as a security for debt, (4) deposits a fake document into any account through an ATM, or (5) received anything of value as a result of (4). Also, (b) when given a FTC, gives anything of value in return with the intent to defraud, knowing the FTC is forged, expired, revoked; or changes a purchase ticket to show an amount that is larger than what was approved; or fails to give to the company responsible for supplying the FTC but puts it in writing that he/she has given; (d) knowingly falsifies a FTC application; (e) willfully, knowingly, and with intent to defraud falsely reports the theft, loss disappearance or non-receipt of the FTC or pin; or (f) sends to the company responsible for supplying the FTC a made up sale payment
- FTC Fraud Penalties:If value doesn’t exceed $100 in a 6 month period, then 1 year to 2 years in jail and/or up to $1,000 fine. If the value exceeds $100 in a 6 month period, then 1 year to 3 years in jail and/or up to a $5,000 fine
- Giving a False Name:gives a false name, address, or date of birth to a law enforcement officer while they were doing their legal duties and did so with the intent of misleading the officer as to their identity or birthdate
- False Report & False Statement:
- False Report of a Crime: willfully and knowingly gives or causes a false report of a crime to be given to any law enforcement agency or Georgia agency
- False Statement: knowingly and willfully falsifies, hides, or covers up by any trick or scheme an important fact; makes a fake or fraudulent statement; or makes or uses any false documents knowing the documents contain false information or fraudulent statements, in any matter of the state, city, or county government
- False Report & False Statement Penalties:
- False Report of a Crime: Misdemeanor
- False Statement: 1 year to 5 years in jail and/or up to $1,000 fine
- Identity Fraud:willfully and fraudulently: (1) without permission, uses or possesses, for the purpose of fraud, a person’s identifying information; (2) uses identifying information of a person under the age of 18 and are the person’s parents or custodian; (3) uses or possesses, for the purpose of fraud, a dead person’s information; (4) creates, uses, or possesses, for the purpose of fraud, any counterfeit or fake identifying information in regards to a fake person; or (5) with a real person but without their permission and using such information for the purpose of committing a crime or fraud on another person.
- Aggravated Identity Fraud:using information of a real, fake, or dead person for the purpose of getting a job
- First Offense: 1 year to 10 years in jail and/or up to $100,000 fine
- Second or subsequent offense: 3 years to 15 years in jail and/or up to $250,000 fine
- Aggravated Identity Fraud: 1 year to 15 years in jail and/or up to $5,000 fine