Fraud, Forgery, and Counterfeiting
The punishment you may be facing when charged with forgery, counterfeiting or fraud ranges dramatically. What doesn’t change is the fact that it causes a serious strain on your life. When you are facing charges of this magnitude it is vital that you have an experienced Michigan defense attorney to help you protect yourself from serious legal and financial jeopardy. Also see our related bad checks defense page.
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Michigan Fraud Laws
Uttering and publishing false, forged, altered, or counterfeit financial transaction device or records MCL 750.248a- 750.249
If you are charged with using an ATM cars, credit card or debit card and it is not genuine, you may be found guilty of a felony. An example of this is using a card opened under a fictitious name.
Also, if you attempt to pass a forged record or deed you face felony charges. With either of these offenses you will face up to 14 years imprisonment.
Forgery of bank bills and promissory notes MCL 750.251
This law usually applies to forging checks. If you are charged with passing forged checks (or promissory notes) with an intent to defraud, you are facing felony charges and up to 7 years in prison.
?You do not have to use the forged checks to be charged and found guilty of a felony?
Possession of Counterfeit Notes MCL 750.252
If you are found in possession of 10 or more similar forged or counterfeit bank documents (checks, notes, etc) and are found to have intended to use them, you can be charged with a felony. This crime carries with it a maximum sentence of 7 years in prison.
Uttering counterfeit money MCL 750.253
Trying to pass counterfeit money in the state of Michigan is a felony. If you are charged and convicted of uttering counterfeit money you face up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $2,500.
More Michigan Fraud Charges and Penalties
Michigan fraud laws are extremely varied and carry a wide variety of sentences. There are laws on the books for everything from obtaining a signature by fraud to fraudulently passing “imitation leather” as genuine leather. If you are charged with any of the many different fraud offenses, a good attorney is vital to assist you with the process.
Obtaining a signature by fraud MCL 750.273- 750.274
If you are charged and found guilty of obtaining a signature by fraud you may be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines. If you use this signature to try and collect on a contract or other promissory note, you can be charged with another felony and faced an additional 10 years and $5,000.
*If you did not fraudulently obtain a signature but know that a contract or other document in your possession has a fraudulent signature on it and you attempt to collect on it, you face the same punishment.
Fraudulent Disposition of Personal Property MCL 750.279
If someone entrusts you with property or money and gives you instructions on how to dispose of or use the property or money, and you apply the money or property to your own uses, you can be charged with fraudulent disposition of personal property. This is a felony.
There is no recommended sentence in the statute for this offense. This means that because it is a felony you will face more than one year in prison. How much time you are sentenced to will largely depend on your criminal history, circumstance of the crime, and other facts that the judge will take into consideration.
It is very important to note that a judge will consider ordering restitution on all forgery and fraud charges. This means that you will be required to pay back the “victim” in the case the amount that they were defrauded.
Related charges: Michigan Bad Checks