Fraudulent Schemes in Arizona: What You Need to Know About ARS 13-2310  

According to Arizona Revised Statute (ARS) 13-2310, a fraudulent scheme happens when an individual conspires to defraud or “con” an unwitting victim to gain something of value from that person knowingly.

But, fraudulent schemes are not always about money or valuable assets — in some plots of this nature, often referred to as “schemes of artifice,” the perpetrator aims to cheat the victim out of what is rightfully his or hers — and that could be something intangible, like a reputation online, or intellectual property.  

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In another fraudulent scheme, called “honest service fraud,” at least three people are involved:  

  • The person who pays the bribe  
  • The person who accepts the bribe  
  • The person who is harmed or injured by the transaction of the bribe  

In these instances, the person who owes the bribe money is typically beholden to the person whom s/he is paying.

Oftentimes, these are employee/employer relationships or nefarious relationships such as those found in organized crime and gangs.  

However, honest service fraud occurs in some pretty high places as well.

One prime example that happened in 2019 was the elite college entrance exams cheating and “bending” of the admissions requirements for the children of celebrity parents.

Over 50 people were charged with wire and mail fraud, money laundering, and racketeering in that scenario.

Yes, honest services fraud — the latter crime was charged because the unworthy students who (almost) got the spots at those colleges were depriving both the better athletes who deserved those spots, as well as the coach, who also deserved the better athletes, who should have been awarded those spots at those schools. 

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Potential Penalties and Sentencing for Fraudulent Schemes in Arizona  

Pursuant to Arizona Revised Statute (ARS) 13-2310, a first-time conviction of a fraudulent scheme is considered a class 2 felony and, as such, carries with it some quite serious sentencing.  

  • For a defendant with no prior criminal history, s/he may receive leniency with probation and 0 days to 1 year in jail.
  • In other situations, based on some of the other surrounding circumstances of the arrest or charges, the judge may sentence a first-time offender with a minimum of 3 years in prison up to a maximum of 12.5 years in prison.  
  • Those defendants with a single prior felony conviction on their record will not be eligible for probation or jail, only prison, for which the sentence will be a minimum of 4.5 years and a maximum of 23.25 years in prison.  
  • For those defendants with two prior felony convictions, only prison time is an option for sentencing. The sentencing in this scenario ranges from a minimum of 10.5 years and a maximum of 35 years in prison.  

An Important Note on Sentencing Guidelines for First-Time Offenders 

Often, first-time offenders are given a “slap on the wrist,” sent to check in with a probation officer, and may serve a day or two in jail — or in many cases, no jail time.

However, suppose the fraudulent scheme you have been charged was one in which you benefitted in cash or other assets valued by the authorities at $100,000 or more.

In that case, you will NOT be eligible for probation or jail time — the judge will send you to prison, but the precise sentence cannot be known before your sentencing hearing.

fraudulent scheme

Defending Fraudulent Schemes in Arizona: How the Law Firm of Daniel Hutto Can Help  

With such serious charges against you, it can be hard to think about anything else. You’re worried about your future, your family, and what the road ahead looks like.

At the Law Firm of Daniel Hutto, we’ve defended dozens of cases just like yours, and we know that building a winning defense is all about listening to the client’s unique story, doing our own in-house research, and hiring any other professionals we may need to ensure justice is served in your case.

Ready to get started? Call the Law Office of Daniel Hutto today at 602.536.7878 for your FREE legal consultation.

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