Wherever money is concerned, it is very important to be accurate and honest when filling out paperwork, especially for the government. Falsifying the information on financial documents can lead to serious criminal charges.
Keep in mind that there is an element of intent that has to be considered. Say you’re applying for a government loan. If you simply make an error or accidentally fill things out incorrectly, while you may not get the loan, you’re not going to be accused of fraud for an obvious error. It is only when you intentionally falsify those documents that you could face fraud charges.
An NFL wide receiver and a loan scam
As a recent example, look no further than a former NLF wideout who put in applications for around $24 million in government loans. Before officials realized that the applications were fraudulent, over $17 million had been paid out. The wide receiver was arrested, along with many of his associates, on allegations that they had intentionally tried to defraud the government by submitting inaccurate and falsified documents to qualify for the loans.
These types of criminal accusations can be life-changing. They can end a career. This is especially notable for a professional athlete, who only has so long in their physical prime to play their chosen sport. Any time they have to spend out of that sport due to the criminal proceedings is actively costing them money — but anybody accused of serious financial crimes is likely to have their entire world disrupted.
If you’re concerned about your legal liability after a mistake on some financial documents or you’ve already been accused of financial fraud, don’t hesitate to seek experienced legal guidance. The sooner you act, the better.