Fraud

OFFENSES INVOLVING FRAUD OR DECEPTION – OREGON

General Statement

Charges of forgery, fraud, and identity theft are serious and complex. Often multiple incidents can be aggregated, or added up, to enhance the degree of the crime resulting in a longer sentence or higher fine. There are several important defenses available to a defendant in some circumstances.

Forgery and Related Offenses

  • Forgery, 2nd Degree (ORS 165.007)
    • Class A misdemeanor
    • A person commits the crime of 2nd degree forgery, if with intent to injure or defraud, the person:
      • Falsely makes, completes or alters a written instrument; or
      • Utters a written instrument (notice, document, receipt, etc) which the person knows to be forged
  • Forgery, 1st Degree (ORS 165.013)
    • Class C felony
    • A person commits the crime of 1st degree forgery if the person violates ORS 165.007 (above):
      • And the written instrument (notice, document, receipt, etc.) is or purports to be any of the following:
        • Money or part of money, securities, postage or revenue stamps, or other instrument issued by a government or governmental agency;
        • Stock or part of stock, bonds, or other instruments (notice, receipt, document, etc.) issued by a government or governmental agency;
        • A deed, will, codicil (an amendment to a will), contract, or assignment;
        • A check for $1000 or more, a credit card purchase slip for $1000 or more, or a combination of checks and credit card slips that together add up to $1000 or more;
        • A public record;
      • By falsely making, completing, or altering at least 15 retails sales slips, Universal Product Code labels, other labels, or a combination of the above
  • Aggregation of offenses: the value of single check or credit card transactions may be combined for purposes of determining degree of offense if the transactions were committed:
    • Against multiple victims within a 30-day period
    • Against the same victim within a 180-day period

Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument (Notice, Document, Receipt, etc.)

  • Criminal possession of a forged instrument, 2nd degree
    • Class A misdemeanor
    • A person commits the crime of criminal possession of a forged instrument if, knowing it to be forged and with intent to utter the same, the person possesses the forged instrument
  • Criminal possession of a forged instrument, 1st degree (ORS 165.022)
    • Class C felony
    • The person commits the crime of criminal possession of a forged instrument and the forged instrument or a combination of forged instruments adds up to $1000 or more (see ORS 165.013 above)
  • Criminal Possession of a forgery device (ORS 165.032)
    • Class C felony
    • A person commits the crime of criminal possession of a forgery device if:
      • The person makes or possesses with knowledge any plate, die, or other device, apparatus, equipment, or article specifically designed for use in counterfeiting or otherwise forging written instruments (notices, document, receipts etc.); or
      • With intent to use, or aid or permit another to use, the same for purposes of forgery, the person makes or possesses any device, apparatus, equipment, or article capable of adaptable to such use
  • Criminal Simulation (ORS 165.037)
    • Class A misdemeanor
    • A person commits the crime of criminal simulation if:
      • With intent to defraud, the person makes or alters any object in such a manner that it appears to have an antiquity, rarity, source of authorship that it does not in fact possess; or
      • With knowledge of its true character and with intent to defraud, the person utters or possesses an object so simulated
  • Fraudulently obtaining a signature (ORS 165. 042)
    • Class A misdemeanor
    • A person commits the crime of fraudulently obtaining a signature if, with intent to defraud or injure another, the person obtains the signature of a person to a written instrument by knowingly misrepresenting any fact
  • Fraudulent use of a credit card (ORS 165. 055)
    • Class C felony if the total amount of property or services the person obtains or attempts to obtain is $1000 or more
    • Class A misdemeanor of the total amount of property or services the person obtains or attempts to obtain is less than $1000
    • A person commits the crime of fraudulent use of a credit card if, with intent to inure or defraud, the person uses the credit card for the purpose of obtaining property or services with knowledge that:
      • The card is stolen or forged;
      • The card has been revoked or canceled;
      • For any other reason the card is unauthorized by either the issuer or the person to whom the credit card is issued
    • The value of individual credit card transactions may be added together if the transactions were committed:
      • Against multiple victims within a 30-day period; or
      • Against the same victim in a 180-day period
  • Negotiating a bad check (ORS 165.065)
    • Class A misdemeanor
    • A class A misdemeanor can be enhanced to a Class C felony if it can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt at the time of sentencing that the person has been convicted in this state within the preceding five years for the crime of negotiating a bad check or of theft by deception by means of a bad check
    • The person commits the crime of negotiating a bad check if the person draws, utters, or makes a check for the payment of money, knowing that it will not be honored (that it will bounce).
    • Unless a check is post-dated it is evidence of knowledge that the check would bounce if:
      • The person receiving the bad check does not have an account with the person presenting the bad check at the time the check is drawn; or
      • Payment is refused for lack of funds and the person who wrote the check fails to make good within 10 days of the notice of refusal
  • Unlawful factoring of payment card transaction (ORS 165.074)
    • Class B felony if the person has one or more previous convictions for fraud
      • A person commits the crime of unlawful factoring of a payment card transaction if the person intentionally or knowingly:
        • Presents to or deposits with, or causes another to present or deposit with, a financial institution for payment that is not the result of a payment between the cardholder and the person
        • Employs solicits or otherwise causes another to become a merchant for purpose of engaging in conduct made unlawful under this section
        • Uses scanning device to access, read, scan, obtain. Memorize or store information encoded on a payment card:
          • Without permission of the cardholder;
          • With the intent to defraud another person;
        • Uses a re-encoder to place encoded information from one payment card onto another payment card with the intent to defraud another person

Business and Commercial Offenses

  • Falsifying business records (ORS 165.080)
    • Class A misdemeanor
    • The person:
      • Makes or causes a false entry in the business records of an enterprise;
      • Alters, erases, obliterates, deletes, removes, or destroys a true entry in the business records of an enterprise;
      • Fails to make a true entry in the business records of an enterprise in violation of a known duty imposed upon the person by law or by the nature of the position of the person;
      • Prevents the making of a true entry or causes the omission thereof in the business records of an enterprise.
  • Sports bribery (ORS 165. 085)
    • Class C felony
    • The person:
      • Offers, confers, or agrees to confer any benefit upon a sports participant with intent to influence the sports participant not to give the best effort of the sports participant in a sports contest;
      • Offers, confers, or agrees to confer any benefit upon a sport official with intent to influence the sports official to improperly perform duties of a sports official
  • Sports bribe receiving (ORS 165. 090)
    • Class C felony
    • The person:
      • As a sports participant, solicits, accepts, or agrees to accept any benefit from another person with the intent that the person will thereby be influenced not to give the best effort f the person in a sports contest;
      • As a sports official, solicits, accepts, or agrees to accept any benefit from another person with the intent that the person will improperly perform duties of a sports official
  • Metal property offenses (ORS 165.118)
    • Class a misdemeanor
    • The person unlawfully alters metal property if he or she, with intent to deceive a scrap metal business as to the ownership or origin of an item of metal property, knowingly removes, alters, renders unreadable or invisible or obliterates a name, logo, model, or serial number, personal identification number, or other mark or method that the manufacturer uses to identify the metal property; or
    • The person commits the offense of making a false statement on a metal property record if the person:
      • Knowingly makes, causes or allows to be made a false entry or misstatement of material fact in a metal property record; or
      • Signs a declaration knowing that the metal is stolen
    • A scrap metal business or agent of such business commits the offense of unlawfully purchasing or receiving metal property if the business or agent fails to report any of the following:
      • The purchase or receipt of metal property that the person knows or has good reason to know was the subject of theft
      • The purchase or receipt of metal property that the person knows or has reason to know has been unlawfully altered
      • The purchase or receipt of metallic wire from which insulation has been removed, unless the person can show legal documentation entitling them to do so
      • The purchase or receipt of metal from a person other than:
        • A commercial seller that has a commercial account with the scrap metal business
        • A person who can produce written documentation or identification that proves that the person is an employee, agent, or person otherwise authorized by a commercial seller and that has a commercial account
      • The purchase of receipt of metal from an individual whom the scrap metal business knows or has reason to suspect is:
        • Under 16 years of age; or
        • Has been convicted within the past five years of a crime involving:
          • Drugs;
          • Burglary, robbery, or theft;
          • Possession or receipt of stolen goods;
          • A methamphetamine, ephedrine, or a pseudo-ephedrine related crime

Crimes Involving Communications

  • Unlawful telephone solicitation of contributions for charitable purpose (ORS 165.550)
    • Class C misdemeanor
    • No person shall solicit by telephone contributions of money or any other thing of value, whether or not in exchange for a ticket or any other thing of value, for a charitable purpose unless the person:
      • Has been a member in full standing for at least six months of the charitable organization conducting the solicitation and is participating in the solicitation on an uncompensated basis;
      • Has been employed directly by the charitable organization conducting the solicitation for at least six months prior to the solicitation and is receiving a substantial salary; or
      • And the person solicited are personally known to each other
  • Improper use of emergency reporting system (ORS 165.570)
    • Class A misdemeanor
    • The person knowingly:
      • Calls 9-1-1 emergency reporting system or the School Safety Hotline for a purpose other than to report a situation the other person reasonably believes requires prompt service in order to preserve human life or property
  • Interference with making a report (ORS 165.572)
    • Class A misdemeanor
    • The person removes, damages, or interferes with a telephone line, telephone, or similar communication equipment, to prevent or hinder another person from making a report to a law enforcement agency, a law enforcement official, an agency charged with the duty of taking public safety reports or a 9-1-1 emergency reporting system

Identity Theft (ORS 165.800)

  • Class C felony
  • The person, with intent to deceive or defraud, obtains, possesses, transfers, creates, utters, or converts to the persons own use the personal identification of another person
  • Defenses: it is a defense to this crime if the person charged with the offense:
    • Was under 21 years of age at the time of committing the offense and the person used the personal identification of another person solely for the purpose of purchasing alcohol;
    • Was under 18 years of age at the time of committing the offense and the person used the personal identification of another person solely for the purpose of purchasing tobacco products; or
    • Used the personal identification of another person solely for the purpose of misrepresenting the person’s age to gain access to a:
      • Place the access to which is restricted based on age; or
      • Benefit based on age

Aggravated Identity Theft (ORS 165.803)

  • Class B felony
  • The person violates ORS 165.800 (identity theft, above) in 10 or more separate incidents in a 180-day period
  • The person violates ORS 165.800 (identity theft, above) and the person has a previous conviction for aggravated identity theft;
  • The person violates ORS 165.800 (identity theft, above) and the losses incurred in a single or aggregated (added up) transaction are more than $10,000 or more in a 180-day period; or
  • The person violates ORS 165.800 (identity theft, above) and has in the person’s custody, possession, or control 10 or more pieces of personal identification from 10 or more different persons.

Misrepresentation of Age by a Minor (ORS 165.805)

  • Class c misdemeanor
  • The person:
    • Being less than a certain, specified age, the person knowingly purports to be of any age other than the true age of the person with the intent of securing the right, benefit, or privilege which by law is denied to persons under that certain, specified age
    • Being unmarried, the person knowingly represents that the person is married with the intent of securing a right, benefit, or privilege which by law is denied to unmarried persons

Unlawful Possession of a Fictitious Identification (ORS 165.813)

  • Class C felony
  • A person commits the crime of unlawful possession of a fictitious identification if the person possesses a personal identification card containing identification information for a fictitious person with the intent to use the personal identification card to commit a crime
  • Defenses: it is a lawful defense if the person charged with the offense:
    • Was under 21 years of age at the time of the offense and the person possessed the personal identification card solely for the purpose of enabling the person to purchase alcohol
    • Was under 18 years of age at the time of the offense and the person possessed the personal identification card solely for the purpose of enabling the person to purchase tobacco products

FRAUD – WASHINGTON STATE

General Statement

Charges of forgery, fraud, and identity theft are serious and complex. Often multiple incidents can be aggregated, or added up, to enhance the degree of the crime resulting in a longer sentence or higher fine. There are several important defenses available to a defendant in some circumstances.

Forgery (RCW 9A.60.020)

  • Class C felony
  • The person, with intent to injure or defraud:
    • Falsely makes, completes, or alters a written instrument (notice, document, receipt, etc); or
    • Possesses, utters, disposes of, or puts off as true a written instrument which he knows to be forged
  • The crime will be considered to have been committed in any locality where the person (victim) whose means of identification of financial information was appropriated resides, or in which any part of the offense took place, regardless of whether the defendant was ever actually in that locality

Criminal Impersonation, 1st Degree (RCW 9A.60.040)

  • Class C felony
  • The person:
    • Assumes a false identity and does an act in his or her assumed character with intent to defraud another or for any other unlawful purpose; or
    • Pretends to be a representative of some person or organization or a public servant and does an act in his or her pretend capacity with intent to defraud another or for any other unlawful purpose

Criminal Impersonation, 2nd Degree (RCW 9A.60.045)

  • Gross misdemeanor
  • The person:
    • Claims to be a law enforcement officer or creates an impression that he or she is a law enforcement officer; and
      • Under circumstances not amounting to criminal impersonation in the 1st degree, does an act with intent to convey the impression that he or she is acting in an official capacity and a reasonable person would believe the person is a law enforcement officer; or
      • Falsely assumes the identity of a veteran or active duty member of the armed forces of the United States with the intent o defraud for the purpose of personal gain or to facilitate any unlawful activity

Credit, Payment Cards – Unlawful Factoring of Transactions (RCW 9A.56.290)

  • Class C felony
  • Becomes a class B felony with a second or subsequent violation
  • A person:
    • Uses a scanning device to access, read, obtain, memorize, or store, temporarily or permanently, information encoded on a payment card without the permission of the authorized user of the payment card or with the intent to defraud the authorized user, another person, or a financial institution
    • Uses a re-encoder to place information encoded on a payment card onto a different card without the permission of the authorized user of the card from which the information is being re-encoded or with the intent to defraud the authorized user, another person, or a financial institution
    • Presents to or deposits with, or causes another to present or to deposit with, a financial institution for payment or transaction that is not the result of a credit card or payment card transaction between the cardholder and the person
    • Employs, solicits, or otherwise causes another to become a merchant for purposes of engaging in conduct made unlawful under this section

Financial Fraud – Unlawful Possession, Production of Instruments of (RCW 9A.56.320)

  • Class C felony
  • The person:
    • Prints or produces a check or other payment instrument in the name of a person or entity, or with the routing number or account number of a person or entity, without the permission of that person or entity to manufacture or reproduce such payment instrument with such name, routing number, or account number
    • Possesses two or more checks or other payment instruments, alone or in combination:
      • In the name of a person or entity, or with the routing number, or account number of a person or entity, without the permission of the person or entity to posses such payment instrument, and with intent either to deprive the person of possession of such payment instrument or to commit theft, forgery, or identity theft; or
      • In the name of a fictitious person or entity, or with a fictitious routing number or account number of a person or entity, with intent to use the payment instruments to commit theft, forgery, or identity theft
    • Possesses a fictitious identification card with intent to use such a card to commit a forgery, theft, or identity theft
    • Possesses a check making machine, equipment, or software, with the intent to use or distribute checks for purposes of defrauding an account holder, business, financial institution, or any other person or organization
  • The crime will have been considered to have been committed in any locality where the person whose means of identification or financial information was appropriated resides, or in which any part of the offense took place, regardless of whether the defendant was ever actually in that locality

Possession of Another’s Identification (RCW 9A.56.330)

  • Gross misdemeanor
  • The person knowingly possesses personal identification bearing another person’s identity, when the person possessing the personal identification does not have the other person’s permission to possess it
  • Defenses: this section does not apply to:
    • A person who obtains, by means other than theft, another person’s personal identification for the sole purpose of misrepresenting his or her age;
    • A person engaged in a lawful business who obtains another person’s personal identification in the ordinary course of business;
    • A person who finds another’s lost personal identification, does not intend to deprive the other person of the personal identification or to use it to commit a crime, and takes reasonably prompt steps to return it to its owner; and
    • A law enforcement agency that produces or displays counterfeit credit or debit cards, checks, or other payment instruments, or personal identification for investigative or educational purposes
  • The crime will have been considered to have been committed in any locality where the person whose means of identification or financial information was appropriated resides, or in which any part of the offense took place, regardless of whether the defendant was ever actually in that locality

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