PITTSBURGH WHITE-COLLAR DEFENSE ATTORNEY

HOW IS DECEPTIVE AND FRAUDULENT BUSINESS PRACTICES DEFINED IN PENNSYLVANIA?

Section 4107 of the Crimes Code identifies 11 different ways in which a person can be deemed to have engaged in deceptive and fraudulent business practices. In sum, they are as follows:

  • Using or possessing a device—like a false weight or measure—for falsely determining any quality or quantity;
  • Selling, offering, or delivering a lesser quantity of a commodity or service than was represented;
  • When as a buyer, taking more of a represented quantity of any commodity or service when furnishing the weight or measure;
  • Selling or offering for sale adulterated or mislabeled commodities;
  • Making a false or misleading statement in any advertisement to the public, which promotes the purchase or sale of property or services;
  • Inducing others to rely on false or misleading written statements for the purpose of obtaining property or credit;
  • Induces other to rely on false or misleading written statement for the purpose of promoting the sale of securities;
  • Inducing investors to rely on false or misleading material statements for purposes of investing in a business venture;
  • Obtaining property of another by false or misleading communications conducted by telephone related prize promotions;
  • Knowingly making false or misleading statements in a privacy policy regarding the use of personal information submitted by the public;
  • In a client-accountant relationship, providing false information, or failing to provide information, that is material to an attestation function.

HOW SERIOUS IS THIS CRIME?

Deceptive or fraudulent business practices is graded based upon the amount involved

  • If the amount involved exceeds $2,000, then it’s a third-degree felony.
  • If the amount involved is $200 or more but less than $2,000, then its a first-degree misdemeanor.
  • If the value involved is less than $200, or if the amount involved “cannot be satisfactorily ascertained, then its a second-degree misdemeanor.

Where the victim of a deceptive or fraudulent business practice is 60 years of age or older, then grading of the conviction is jumps up one grade higher.

WHAT IS THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS

A prosecution for deceptive and fraudulent business practices must be commenced within five years after it is committed.

 

If you or a loved one is charged with deceptive or fraudulent business practices, call Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney, Ryan H. James, who has tried and argued these cases with successful results.  Attorney James can be personally reached at 412-977-1827, or by e-mail at ryan@rhjameslaw.com