Consumer Fraud – Civil Code 3294
Consumer fraud covers a large range of activities from auto sales and odometer fraud to Ponzi schemes, to cell phone scams and mortgage fraud. Depending on the crime, fraud can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. Charges can also be state or federal as well. All these different factors impact the punishment of the crime.
State misdemeanors may be punished by up to a year in county jail, while a federal felony conviction could lead to ten years in prison. Fines and restitution are also part of the punishment, but like incarceration vary greatly depending on the crime.