Specialist Fraud Lawyers, Panama

Specialists fraud lawyers

Have you been a victim of the crime of Fraud? Are you being accused of the crime of Fraud? Do you need a lawyer in Panama?

Our criminal lawyers in Panama, especially our lawyers specializing in Fraud, advise and defend organizations, business conglomerates, financial institutions, individuals, state entities and businessmen from the crime of Fraud, within the framework of international legislation and Panama laws. At José María Castillo y Asociados we frequently advise people seeking to implement internal anti-fraud controls, those who are investigated for such crimes by the Public Ministry and also those who have been victims of fraudulent activities.

Remember that it is important that a lawyer specialized in fraud assists you and defends you from the first moment. Our services can be provided through preventive advice (virtual or face-to-face) or representation in an extrajudicial declaration, in an administrative proceeding or in a criminal proceeding according to your needs.

Abogados especialistas en Fraudes, Panamá

What is the Crime of Fraud?

There are different definitions of Fraud, and on many occasions, certain difficulties in business are classified as “fraud” and therefore, the guidance of specialist fraud lawyers is necessary to clarify whether it is or not. On this occasion we refer to the criminal types found in the Panamanian Penal Code to capture our definition, as we present it below.

Fraud is a crime that is configured when an illicit benefit is obtained through deception, lack of full consent and/or abuse or excess of powers that cause harm to a natural person or the State, who are generally the holders of alienated rights whose benefits follow this same fate, or who have trusted to deliver them in exchange for a result that is not obtained in the end.

Our lawyers specializing in Fraud at the law firm in Panama José María Castillo y Asociados have the skill and detailed and specific knowledge necessary to successfully defend people who are accused or have been victims of different forms of Fraud, in accordance with the current market trends.

What are the most common types of Fraud?

We made a list taking different sources about the most common frauds and scams where the advice of lawyers specializing in fraud becomes important to protect your interests, either as a victim of such behavior or as accused of it.

The Authority for Consumer Protection and Defense of Competition in Panama indicates that in the case of contracting, Fraud is frequent due to:

  • False Declarations and Adulterated Documents in bids and projects.
  • False and Inflated Invoices
  • Non-compliance with the contract specifications, substitution of products.

The Fraud Prevention Commission of the Banking Association of Panama warns that in relation to bank Fraud the most common modalities are:

  • Donation scams,
  • Altered Deposit Flyer Scams
  • Commitments in business emails
  • Phishing
  • Cyber fraud with credit and debit cards.
  • Purchase of products that are marketed on social networks through an alleged payment that is reflected in the seller’s bank account and time later the seller receives the information that the money does not exists. But the merchandise has already been delivered.
  • People who pose as a high-ranking official of some State entity and through the Internet ask for donations.

Below we share other examples of Fraud against which you could be accused or be a victim and require the legal representation of lawyers specialized in Fraud:

Fraud against small businesses

In our professional practice, businesses are exposed to internal fraud, often planned and executed by their own collaborators or external fraud executed by third parties. In this sense, the following specific frauds could occur:

  • Corporate identity fraud: There are many ways that companies can be susceptible to identity theft, this fraud can be internal or external. With the help of the Internet, it is relatively easy to search for information about a company in a series of records. These include legal documents, patents, trademarks, web domains, as well as information that a company volunteer about itself. Fraudsters can use this information to gain a general understanding of how a business operates and where to report information. Making fraudulent purchases, diverting billing payments to non-company bank accounts, changing company addresses and credentials with the relevant authorities are unlawful acts that constitute Fraud.
  • Creation of new accounts or loans: in this case, the data of the victim is used to create a bank account or apply for a credit, without the consent of the same, in many cases false or lost documents are used to carry out the crime.

Fraudulent investments

This type of Fraud can be developed in four (4) modalities:

  • High-risk investments: under this modality, victims are encouraged to invest in stocks, precious stones and art, offering totally overvalued prices.
  • Investments in properties: this modality consists of contacting future investors through eye-catching brochures and inviting them to a presentation on how to make money in the real estate market. Subsequently, people are pressured to enter the project through an initial fee or also by buying a property at low cost, according to the publication.
  • Ponzi Scheme: In this scheme, the criminal creates, on the surface, an investment scheme that promise above-average returns. In reality, according to the publication, the fraudsters take some of the money for their own benefit and use the rest to pay the yields.
  • Abusive market practices: this type of fraud consists of promoting false rumors about the price of a share with the aim of increasing the demand for said security and selling before the falsity of said rumors is discovered.

During our professional career and given that Panama has been recognized as a country of investment, our lawyers specializing in fraud in Panama have extensive experience in providing preventive advice to investors, victims of fraud and people who have been accused of the crime of fraud in Panama.

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The main rules that regulate the Crime of Fraud

In the Republic of Panama, we find that the Penal Code refers to the following frauds:

  • Collection or illegal benefit obtained with the purpose of procuring and undue collection of insurance, destroying, damaging or making the insured thing disappear.
  • Giving something that is found with a lien or mortgage, pretending that it is not.
  • Constitute a pledge or mortgage on someone else´s property.
  • Consume or capture energy, water, telecommunication, telecommunication and video signal, cable, satellite or parabolic terminal equipment without the consent of the owner, supplier, concessionaire or administrator.
  • Alter any element of measurement of energy, water, telecommunications, telecommunication and video signal, cable, satellite or parabolic terminal equipment, as well as the installations and connections that allow this alteration.
  • Alter, modify or manipulate databases, networks or computer systems, aggravating when having a position that allows the knowledge of privileged information.
  • Altering the price in an act of public procurement in concert with other people.
  • Request or receive payments, pay or promise to pay to participate or not participate in a public procurement act.
  • Prevent the participation of another proponent or participant in a public contracting act through violence, intimidation or deception.
  • Disseminate false or distorted news in any of the acts of public procurement to take advantage of yourself or a third party.
  • Associate with competitors to fix the price in one or more acts of public procurement.
  • Associate with your creditors to simulate or assume debts, disposals, expenses, losses or credits.
  • Associate with your creditors to subtract and hide assets that correspond to the estate or do not justify your departure or alienation.
  • Associate with your creditors to subtract, destroy or falsify, in whole or in part, accounting records and other accounting documents, or have carried them in such a way that it is impossible to reconstruct the assets or the movement of businesses, or knowingly present false data related to the accounting statement in order to achieve financial protection in a reorganization bankruptcy process.
  • Associate with your creditors to carry out acts of patrimonial disposition or generators of obligations, without the corresponding authorization, destined to pay one or several creditors, preferential or not, postponing the payment of the rest or granting undue advantage to any creditor.

Similarly, Law 79 of October 22, 2013, which approves the Convention on Cybercrime, done in Budapest, on November 23, 2001:

“Article 8. Computer Fraud. Each Party shall adopt such legislative and other measures as may be necessary to criminalize under its domestic law deliberate and unlawful acts that cause property damage to another person by:

a) Any introduction, alteration, deletion or elimination of computer data;
b) Any interference in the operation of ac computer system, with the fraudulent or criminal intent to illegitimately obtain an economic benefit for oneself or for another person.

Frequent questions

What are the common elements of the crime of Fraud?

  • Deceit or exploitation of error
  • A subject who receives the profit for the illicit action
  • A link between deception and perceived profit.

Examples of fraud in Panama

  • Fraud due to false documents
  • Financial fraud
  • Investment fraud
  • Cyber fraud

What are the main institutions responsible for the prevention and punishment of fraud in Panama?

Abogados especialistas en Fraudes, Panamá

If you are interested in our services as criminal lawyers or would like to talk to us, we invite you to contact us.

Our lawyers specializing in fraud in Panama have extensive experience in defending clients who are under investigation or accusation for fraud or crimes of an economic nature, as well as in the representation of entities, individuals and companies that have been victims of the same. Consequently, our in-depth knowledge of litigation allows us to give advice that is not only theoretically correct but addresses all the practical obstacles clients face in everyday business or criminal proceedings.

Through our work we have successfully obtained the file of charges of fraud crimes and as well as the reparation to the victims, with the respective restoration of rights. We have also counseled clients to take proactive steps that have prevented potentially costly litigation.