The Differences Between “Conspiracy to Commit Fraud” and “Fraud” Charges

The Differences Between "Conspiracy to Commit Fraud" and "Fraud" Charges

Conspiracy to Commit Fraud and Fraud are two different crimes. A person can be charged with both or either crime.

Defining Conspiracy to Commit Fraud and Fraud

Conspiracy to Commit Fraud is the agreement between two or more people to engage in fraudulent activity. The focus is on the intention and agreement to commit the crime of fraud. Fraud is the actual act of attempting to defraud someone. It is deliberate deception for the purpose of obtaining an unfair or unlawful gain.

The Differences Between Conspiracy to Commit Fraud and Fraud

If an individual acts alone to commit fraud, he or she cannot be charged with conspiracy. If however, two or more people are in on the fraud scheme, then they may be charged with conspiracy to commit fraud in addition to charges of fraud. Since these are distinct crimes, a person may be convicted of both crimes which may lead to harsher penalties. Further, a person may be charged with conspiracy to commit fraud even without actually carrying out the fraudulent act. However, many of the federal statutes covering fraud crimes require that at least one of the co-conspirators take some sort of overt action toward carrying out the fraud scheme.

Conspiracy to commit fraud is a crime of intention. The burden is on the prosecution to prove that the defendant intended to commit fraud and that he or she was co-conspiring with at least one other person to commit the crime.

Being Charged with Fraud or Conspiracy to Commit Fraud

There are a number of federal and state crimes that are considered fraud. Examples of fraud include: bank fraud, health care fraud, telemarketing fraud, insurance fraud, mortgage fraud, and investment related scams.

Fraud schemes can be complex and involve a number of people. In such cases, charges of conspiracy often accompany the fraud charge as well. If you have been accused of or charged with fraud or conspiracy to commit fraud, you need an attorney who understands the tactics and procedures the government will use to obtain a conviction. You need an attorney who can combat aggressive prosecutors.

As a former health care fraud prosecutor with the United States Attorney’s Office, Ashley D. Adams understands the government’s tactics and knows how to establish the best possible defense for your case. Even if you are confident that your actions were lawful, we strongly urge you to seek the help of an attorney.

When you hire us, we will thoroughly investigate the evidence and we may be able to dismantle the case against you:

  • Your rights may have been violated during the investigation.
  • The allegations may have been made unfairly against you.
  • In their zeal to prosecute these types of crimes, officials may unfairly target honest people.

We will fight back for you and protect your rights. Contact us or call now (480) 219-1366 for a consultation.


The attorneys at Ashley D. Adams, PLC handles state criminal cases throughout Arizona and federal criminal cases throughout the United States, including Arizona, Oklahoma, Utah, and California.