What to do if you're a suspect for fraud


Exercise your right to remain silent
Police are under no obligation to tell you the truth and, in fact, are trained to get you to talk. Make sure to keep a level head and your mouth shut as anything you say can be twisted around and used against you.


Ask to speak to an attorney
Even if it is the middle of the night and you cannot get ahold of an attorney, simply by asking the question you protect against further interrogation from the police.


Hire an attorney ASAP
If you think you are being investigated for fraud, it is always worth it to hire an attorney. An attorney can reach out to the police and prosecutor and try to stop the charges from being filed, or reduce the charges that are filed and arrange for your arrest with minimal embarrassment. Just hoping it will go away is not a winning strategy. Hire an attorney who can start to balance out the odds back to your favor.

What is fraud?

Fraud is a small word that covers a lot of different offenses ranging from identity theft to embezzlement. A common term for fraud offenses is "White Collar" crime. These crimes usually involve using misrepresentation or deception to obtain money, services, or goods. The penalties for fraud crimes in Arizona can be severe, including severe implications to your immigration status. It is important to have an experienced attorney in your corner when facing fraud charges. Burges McCowan is a former prosecutor for the Maricopa County Attorney Office's who was a charter member of the Fraud Unit. He can help balance the odds in your favor.

Identity Theft (ARS 13-2008 & 13-2009)

Identity Theft in Arizona is a class 4 felony primarily governed by Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-2008 and occurs when someone knowingly takes, purchases, manufactures, records, possesses or uses another person's personally identifying information such as name, social security number, driver's license or credit card information. Identity Theft may also include someone writing checks using another person's personally identifiable information, or using an ATM card or credit card without consent. Burges McCowan has handled numerous identity theft cases and understands the devastating impact that a charge of identity theft can have on one's life.

Fraud Schemes (ARS 13-2310)

In Arizona, Fraud Scheme is a serious charge, a class 2 felony, that can carry severe punishment and have dire consequences for future career prospects. The government charges Fraud Schemes for numerous reasons but the most common are embezzlement, counterfeiting, large scale identity theft, or committing a scam. Fraud Scheme cases are very complex and usually involve several hundred pages of documents and lots of witnesses. If you think you are the subject of a fraud  investigation, time is of the essence. Call Burges as soon as possible to begin mounting your defense.

Theft (ARS 13-1802)

Theft is a straightforward concept but under Arizona law it can get complex. There are a number different ways Arizona defines theft, but essentially it comes down to taking the property of another without permission. The value of the property determines the level of the crime. The higher the value, the higher the level of the crime and the greater the punishment. If you are facing theft charges, contact Burges as soon as possible. He can help develop defenses to avoid the harsh punishment and damage to your reputation that comes with a theft conviction.

Forgery (ARS 13-2002) 

Forgery is a felony in Arizona and is governed by several statutes. Most often, forgery charges stem from written instruments such as checks. Possessing five or more forged instruments creates a statutory inference that the instruments were possessed with an intent to defraud. If you are accused of forgery, or simply believe that the authorities may be investigating you to perhaps charge you later, now is the time to get the help of an experienced attorney. Burges McCowan has the experience you need. Contact him today.

Phoenix Criminal Defense Attorney | Fraud

Burges McCowan

Criminal Defense Attorney

I highly recommend Burges if you are looking for someone who has your best interest in mind. 

I needed an attorney when my daughter was facing jail for organized retail theft. Burges kept me informed and helped set my mind at ease with his knowledge and experience. I always knew what to expect at court and he would talk with my daughter and treated her like an adult - not a criminal - and always showed compassion and respect. 

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