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Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C.
630-472-9700Available 24/7

People Still Write (Bad) Checks? Check Fraud in Illinois

Posted on in Fraud

check fraud illinoisAlthough the ancient paper check transaction is a thing of the past for most, writing bad checks is still a crime. Fraudulently making, signing, depositing, or giving a check to another with fictitious account information or inadequate funds is more than just a fee deducted from your bank for the bounced check—it can carry both civil and criminal punishments.

The Civil Component

While many “bad check” fraud schemes result in jail time, others may carry civil penalties in addition to, or in place of, criminal charges. According to the Illinois Court of Appeals, for a person to recover monetary damages from a person who wrote a bad check, the person in receipt of the bad check must prove four things:

  1. That the person who wrote the bad check delivered the check in order to receive personal property;
  2. That the person who wrote the bad check knew at the time that they did not have enough money in their accounts to pay on the check;
  3. That the person who wrote the bad check intentionally defrauded the recipient of the bad check; and
  4. That the person who wrote the bad check did not pay the recipient.

These requirements essentially mean this: the check was used in exchange for personal property, the person issuing the check knew they did not have funds to support its payment, and payment in fact did not go through. A person caught writing a bad check may have fees to his or her bank, the other party’s bank, or the other party, depending on the circumstances. The responsible party may also be liable to the other for attorney fees and court costs under Illinois law.

The Crime of Deceptive Practices

The crime of writing a bad check in Illinois is called “deceptive practices.” Deceptive practices include much more than writing a check when you know you do not have sufficient funds in your account, however. This crime also involves the use of fictitious or inaccurate bank accounts, names, or aliases, making a false statement in reference to opening an account with a financial institution, misrepresenting name or employment information, exceeding your limits on a business account, or other actions that amount to untruthfulness in these transactions. The penalties can range from misdemeanor charges up to felonies that carry punishments upwards of 15 years. The sentence increases with the amount of money involved and the amount of transactions made within a certain time period. Thus, if there is more than one criminal transaction involved, the greater the chances the possible sentence will be greater.

Chicago Bad Check Lawyers

If you are a first-time offender in Cook County, you may be eligible for the Cook County State’s Attorney Bad Check Restitution Program, an opportunity to move on with your life even if you made one mistake in your past. Regardless of whether it was your first offense, only one transaction or several, or if you have a criminal history or not, our experienced DuPage County check fraud defense attorneys at Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C. can help you understand your legal rights. We understand the complexity of the criminal justice system due to our experience working and negotiating with prosecutors in Cook, DuPage, Kane, and Will Counties, and will help you get the most favorable outcome possible. Contact us today for a free consultation at 630-472-9700 about your options if you have been charged with writing a bad check in the greater Chicago area.

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