Felony fraud charges bring serious concerns, and anxiety over the possibility of a conviction can often be overwhelming. If a jury decides to convict, punishment may include several years of incarceration depending on the amount of financial gain the alleged fraud generated. Some individuals, however, may decide to forgo a trial, admit to the alleged offense and accept a court’s sentence.
Federal prosecutors, for example, filed charges consisting of 22 felony counts against a California insurance agent who has since lost her license. As reported by Insurance Journal, she faced charges including forgery and grand theft related to an alleged scheme of charging truck drivers premiums that were never forwarded to insurance carriers. Only six months of her five-year sentence, however, will require actual incarceration.
According to the prosecution, she represented herself as an agent for commercial vehicle insurance policies and truckers responded to her mail and phone solicitations. Several commercial truck operators requested an insurance quote. After receiving their quote, they gave the agent their checking account numbers for an electronic transfer. The funds provided reportedly did not go toward an insurance policy.
At her arraignment, the prosecution presented her with the evidence and she entered into a plea deal. Her five-year sentence included four years of felony probation plus a jail sentence of 180 days followed by work release for another 180 days.
Entering a plea over a felony charge may result in a more lenient punishment because it does not usually require the input of a jury. Cases alleging an individual committed fraud may involve an extraordinary amount of gathered evidence. A years-long investigation may take place before presenting enough information to a prosecutor to press charges. If strong evidence overpowers a defense, entering a plea may result in an outcome that does not require lengthy incarceration.