New Jersey Check Fraud

New Jersey Check Fraud Attorneys

In New Jersey, State Check Fraud charges usually stem from several different New Jersey Statutes; theft, forgery, uttering and bad checks.

Forgery is the act of signing the signature of a check for another without the authorization of that person. Presenting the forged a check results in the criminal charge of uttering. If the defendant is successful in obtaining money from presenting the forged check, they will also be charged can be theft. Finally, when the defendant writes a check and it bounces and then fails to make good on the check, the defendant will be charged with the crime of bad checks.

New Jersey Fraud and Related Offenses

2C:21-1. Forgery and related offenses

a. Forgery. A person is guilty of forgery if, with purpose to defraud or injure anyone, or with knowledge that he is facilitating a fraud or injury to be perpetrated by anyone, the actor:

(1) Alters or changes any writing of another without his authorization;

(2) Makes, completes, executes, authenticates, issues or transfers any writing so that it purports to be the act of another who did not authorize that act or of a fictitious person, or to have been executed at a time or place or in a numbered sequence other than was in fact the case, or to be a copy of an original when no such original existed; or

(3) Utters any writing which he knows to be forged in a manner specified in paragraph (1) or (2).

“Writing” includes printing or any other method of recording information, money, coins, tokens, stamps, seals, credit cards, badges, trademarks, access devices, and other symbols of value, right, privilege, or identification, including retail sales receipts, universal product code (UPC) labels and checks. This section shall apply without limitation to forged, copied or imitated checks.

As used in this section, “information” includes, but is not limited to, personal identifying information as defined in subsection v. of N.J.S.2C:20-1.

b. Grading of forgery. Forgery is a crime of the third degree if the writing is or purports to be part of an issue of money, securities, postage or revenue stamps, or other instruments, certificates or licenses issued by the government, New Jersey Prescription Blanks as referred to in R.S.45:14-14, or part of an issue of stock, bonds or other instruments representing interest in or claims against any property or enterprise, personal identifying information or an access device. Forgery is a crime of the third degree if the writing is or purports to be a check. Forgery is a crime of the third degree if the writing is or purports to be 15 or more forged or altered retail sales receipts or universal product code labels.

Otherwise forgery is a crime of the fourth degree.

c. Possession of forgery devices. A person is guilty of possession of forgery devices, a crime of the third degree, when with purpose to use, or to aid or permit another to use the same for purposes of forging written instruments, including access devices and personal identifying information, he makes or possesses any device, apparatus, equipment, computer, computer equipment, computer software or article specially designed or adapted to such use.

CREDIT(S)

L.1978, c. 95, § 2C:21-1, eff. Sept. 1, 1979. Amended by L.1981, c. 290, § 20, eff. Sept. 24, 1981; L.1996, c. 154, § 10, eff. Jan. 6, 1997; L.1997, c. 6, § 5, eff. Jan. 24, 1997; L.2001, c. 110, § 1, eff. June 21, 2001; L.2002, c. 85, § 2, eff. Oct. 16, 2002.

Criminal Simulation

2C:21-2. Criminal simulation

A person commits a crime of the fourth degree if, with purpose to defraud anyone or with knowledge that he is facilitating a fraud to be perpetrated by anyone, he makes, alters or utters any object so that it appears to have value because of antiquity, rarity, source, or authorship which it does not possess.

CREDIT(S)

L.1978, c. 95, § 2C:21-2, eff. Sept. 1, 1979.

Bad Checks in New Jersey

2C:21-5. Bad checks

A person who issues or passes a check or similar sight order for the payment of money, knowing that it will not be honored by the drawee, commits an offense as provided for in subsection c. of this section. For the purposes of this section as well as in any prosecution for theft committed by means of a bad check, an issuer is presumed to know that the check or money order (other than a post-dated check or order) would not be paid, if:

a. The issuer had no account with the drawee at the time the check or order was issued; or

b. Payment was refused by the drawee for lack of funds, or due to a closed account, after a deposit by the payee into a bank for collection or after presentation to the drawee within 46 days after issue, and the issuer failed to make good within 10 days after receiving notice of that refusal or after notice has been sent to the issuer’s last known address. Notice of refusal may be given to the issuer orally or in writing in any reasonable manner by any person.

c. An offense under this section is:

(1) a crime of the second degree if the check or money order is $75,000.00 or more;

(2) a crime of the third degree if the check or money order is $1,000.00 or more but is less than $75,000.00;

(3) a crime of the fourth degree if the check or money order is $200.00 or more but is less than $1,000.00;

(4) a disorderly persons offense if the check or money order is less than $200.00.

CREDIT(S)

L.1978, c. 95, § 2C:21-5, eff. Sept. 1, 1979. Amended by L.1981, c. 290, § 22, eff. Sept. 24, 1981; L.2002, c. 65, § 1, eff. Aug. 14, 2002.

Federal Check Fraud & Check Kiting Attorneys

The most common Federal Check Fraud cases involve check kiting. This crime takes advantage of the float to make use of non-existent funds in a bank account. The crime occurs when one intentionally writes a check for a value greater than the account balance from an account in one bank, then writing a check from another account in another bank, also with non-sufficient funds, with the second check serving to cover the non-existent funds from the first account. The purpose is to falsely inflate the balance of a checking account in order to allow checks that have been written that would otherwise bounce to clear.

If the defendant does not plan on replenishing the account, then the fraud is known as paper hanging. Some complex kiting rings involve creating sham businesses thereby masking their activity as normal business transactions and making banks inclined to waive the limit of funds made available. These crimes often involve a number of other serious crimes including tax evasion and money laundering.

Types of Fraud Crimes in New Jersey

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