Check fraud is a common source of criminal activity in our modern society. In a 2009 study by the American Bankers Association (ABA), the estimated bank losses due to fraudulent check schemes were nearly $1.024 billion in 2008. The ABA also reported that 80% of all banks experienced fraudulent check related losses. Check fraud has many different faces and comes in many different forms, such as: forged checks; the use of stolen checks; writing checks knowing the account has insufficient funds; and the making of false statements to induce the payment by check.
The consequences of check fraud in Michigan vary depending on the circumstances surrounding the fraudulent activity. The amount of the fraudulent check and whether someone has any previous offenses determines the severity of the charges.
Check fraud will fall under one of the following three offenses:
1. When the check is less than $100.00 -
• first offense – misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for 93 days or less, or a fine not to exceed $500.00,
• offense following one or more prior convictions – misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for 1 year or less, and/or a fine not to exceed $1,000.00;
2. When the check is $100.00 or more but less than $500.00 -
• first offense or second offense – misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for 1 year or less, or a fine not to exceed $1,000.00 or 3 times the amount of the check (whichever is greater), or both imprisonment and a fine
• third offense or more – felony punishable by imprisonment for 2 years or less and/or a fine not to exceed $2,000.00;
3. When the check is $500.00 or more -
• felony punishable by imprisonment for 2 years or less, or a fine not to exceed $2,000.00 or three times the amount of the check (whichever is greater), or both imprisonment and a fine.
If you have been charged with check fraud, you need a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney to represent you. For more information, please contact Mark Mandell at 248-380-0000, ext. 241 or Melissa Cox at 248-380-0000, ext. 240 or visit our website at http://www.michiganfraudlawyer.com/