As we gaze back on the year that was 2017, few common themes stand out as prevalently as the public’s appetite for digging up dirt on figures of power and success and turning the tables on them. In many cases, the figures went before the court of public opinion and lost before they ever set foot in an actual courtroom.

One such narrative of power affecting those wielding it came to bear recently as a former congresswoman received five years of jail time in connection with a number of fraud charges. According to the charges, the congresswoman allegedly used her influence and position to raise nearly $800,000 for a charity that may or may not actually do what it claims to do.

While this stands in stark contrast to the reasons why many of our other public officials faced scrutiny in 2017, the fundamentals of responding to any fraud charge remain more or less the same. If you receive fraud charges, an experienced attorney can help.

The way a person responds to fraud charges often influences the direction that the charges take. It is very common for a person to receive charges or even informal allegations of fraud and panic, taking actions that make him or her look guiltier that than he or she actually is. This is especially true when it come stop attempting to explain away some confusion. Always remember that anything you say about the matter, to virtually anyone but an attorney representing you, may show back up in court.

If you face fraud charges or allegations, be sure to calmly, carefully, keep yourself protected.

Source: The Florida Times-Union, “Former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown sentenced to five years in prison,” Christopher Hong, Steve Patterson and Nate Monroe, Dec. 04, 2017