NRS 205.370: Swindling Laws in Nevada—Definition, Penalties, and Defenses
Crook, shyster, swindler—we’ve all heard these terms to refer to someone who seems shady or does shady dealings, and gets things for free or on the cheap.
These terms often refer to a person who uses falsehoods to gain something. For instance, assuming a false identity in order to obtain personal gain.
Most of the time, they might be considered almost funny to refer to a person as a swindler. Maybe your grandpa got something for free at the store every week because he was nice to the ladies who worked there and they gave him a free pastry or something.
You might refer to him as swindling the ladies into giving him a free pastry. This may seem harmless and in good fun, and maybe it is, but there is a point when it isn’t fun anymore and it becomes someone breaking the law and causing harm to another or a business.
In Nevada, swindling becomes a crime when someone uses false representations of their actual wealth to gain credit or other items based on their perceived wealth.
Businesses that sell goods and services need to be able to sell those goods and services on a credit basis.
They also need to be able to pay bills and trust that their customers are trustworthy when applying for and using credit at a business.
There are both criminal and civil penalties for people who engage in fraudulent behavior in connection with a credit transaction.
If you are accused of breaking the law regarding swindling you may face serious penalties including time in jail.
What Exactly Is Swindling in Nevada
Nevada defines swindling or obtaining credit by false representation in NRS 205.370. This means the crime is defined under the fraud and false personification subcategory of the chapter of Nevada’s penal code that deals with the crimes of property.
Nevada law states that “any person who makes false representations of his or her wealth in order to obtain credit and defraud a person of money, goods, chattel, or any valuable consideration” should be convicted of an offense.
The statute also states that a defendant could be convicted of making false representations of mercantile correspondence or connections to obtain money or other valuable consideration.
A defendant can also be accused of swindling if a person uses another person to make false reports about the defendant’s wealth.
With another person making false reports for the first defendant to gain credit fraudulently to come in possession of goods, wares, merchandise or other valuable things.
Other Types of Fraud or Swindling
Swindling is a crime of property instead of against a person.
Crimes against property usually include using some types of fraudulent behavior to gain something in return.
The most common types of fraud are:
- Auto insurance fraud: intentionally deceiving an insurance company to obtain money that the insurance company is not obligated to give
- Bank fraud: Knowingly executing a scheme to defraud a financial institution out of money or property.
- Credit card fraud: There are four different actions that encompass credit card fraud. Using another’s credit card without their permission, using expired credit cards, using a fake credit, and lying on a credit application to gain credit also known as swindling.
- Foreclosure fraud: defendants can be guilty of this if consultants use deception to not abide by their contracts with homeowners.
- Gaming Fraud: Using information that is not known to the general public to gain an advantage to gaming in Nevada. Just like insider trading with gambling instead of the stock market.
- Health Care Fraud: This is when health care professionals inflate charges to health insurance companies to get more money than they are entitled to.
- Mail Fraud: Mail fraud has four elements that must be present. First, a fraudulent scheme to gain money, property or honest services. Second, the defendant has the intent to defraud. Three, the fraud involved material misrepresentations of the truth; and four, the defendant used mail to conduct the fraud.
- Mortgage Fraud: Deliberately making a false statement or conducting a mortgage lending transaction.
- Obtaining money by false pretenses: When a material misrepresentation leads to one party profiting from the misrepresentation.
- Securities fraud: any fraudulent act involving the stock market and investments of funds in the stock market is illegal in Nevada.
- Unemployment fraud: both former employers and employees can be guilty of unemployment insurance fraud. Applying for and obtaining unemployment insurance under false pretenses. An employer giving false information to avoid paying unemployment benefits is a scenario that constitutes unemployment fraud.
These are some other variations of swindling, where false representations of wealth or other circumstances are used to obtain money, property, chattel, or other valuables. There are severe penalties for most of these crimes.
What Are the Defenses of Swindling
There are three main ways that a defendant can fight the charges of swindling or other fraud types.
- The defendant had no intention to defraud
- The defendant was falsely accused
- The evidence was obtained illegally through unlawful search and seizure
If your defense attorney can use these strategies to raise any reasonable doubt as to guilt the case may be dismissed.
The Penalties for Swindling
Most swindling cases will involve returning the property that was fraudulently obtained if possible, or paying restitution to the victim and the penalties will also include:
- If the value of the chattels, goods, wares, merchandise or other value is more than $650, it is considered a Class C felony as provided in N.R.S 193.130. A category C felony can mean the defendant can face anywhere from 1 to 5 years in state prison.
- If the amount of goods improperly obtained is less than $650, then the defendant can be charged with a misdemeanor offense. The penalties for a misdemeanor are less than one year in jail and fines.
The Defenders Your Fraud Defense Team
Since there are many types of fraud that can result in penalties ranging from some fines and restitution to long jail sentences and high fines, it is important to respond aggressively and assertively if you have been accused of fraud or false personification.
You need to hire and work with a Nevada defense team that understands the statutes that address fraud and crimes against property.
Your legal team will know what defense strategies to use to defend against the evidence against you.
The Defenders are ready to head to court to defend you.
We have years of experience and have successfully represented many defendants accused of swindling or other fraud charges.
The Defenders will evaluate the charges against you and help you make an informed decision about whether or not to accept a plea bargain for a lesser charge or reduced penalties could be the best option.
If we decide with you that a plea deal could be your best option, we will negotiate on your behalf to get the best deal available.
To find out how our Nevada legal team, The Defenders can help you, and help with responding to criminal accusations of fraud and false personation give us a call today.