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In 1915, the term “gold digger’’ was used for the first time to describe a woman pursuing men for their money. But what are the legal implications of gold digging? Is it considered a crime? Continue reading to learn more.

What Is a “Gold Digger?”

The term "gold digging" is most commonly associated with individuals – gold diggers - who seek out romantic relationships based primarily on their partner's wealth and financial status, rather than emotional connection or love.

Gold Digging in Personal Relationships

In the context of personal relationships, gold digging can have significant legal implications, especially when it comes to divorce settlements. There's a perception that women who seek a fair share of family assets on divorce are often labeled as 'gold diggers'. This stereotype influences how judges, juries, and and others perceive the case and could impact the outcome.

However, it's important to note that seeking financial relief on divorce doesn't necessarily equate to gold digging. The law encourages fairness in the division of assets upon divorce, so an individual seeking their rightful share isn't necessarily a gold digger.

Whether this behavior is considered a crime depends on the specific actions involved and the laws of the jurisdiction in question.

When Gold Digging Becomes a Crime

In general, gold digging itself is not a crime since it refers to a motive or intent rather than a specific illegal act. However, some actions that may be associated with gold digging, such as fraud, embezzlement, or extortion, could be considered criminal offenses.

For example, if someone engages in fraudulent behavior to obtain money or assets from another person by falsely representing their intentions or manipulating them, it could be considered a crime. This could include acts like marriage fraud, where someone enters a marriage solely for financial gain without genuine intentions of forming a real marital relationship.

Penalties for Fraud in FL

Fraud is a serious offense that involves deceit, misrepresentation, or concealment with the intent to obtain a benefit or advantage, causing financial harm to another party. In Florida, the legal framework is designed to deter and punish fraudulent activities, protecting individuals and businesses from falling victim to deceitful practices. This overview provides an analysis of fraud penalties and laws in Florida, primarily focusing on Section 817.034 of the Florida Statutes.

Florida Statutes Section 817.034 - Fraudulent Practices and Penalties

Section 817.034 of the Florida Statutes addresses various fraudulent practices and imposes penalties on offenders. The section encompasses a wide range of fraudulent activities, including but not limited to, schemes to defraud, false statements, fraudulent use of personal identification information, and credit card fraud.

  • Schemes to Defraud: Subsection (1)(a) of Section 817.034 outlines that any person who engages in a scheme to defraud commits a felony of the first degree. A felony of the first degree is the most severe category of felonies in Florida, punishable by up to 30 years in prison and/or fines not exceeding $10,000.
  • False Statements: Subsection (1)(b) of the statute pertains to false statements, specifying that any person who willfully and knowingly makes a false statement in writing commits a felony of the third degree. A felony of the third degree in Florida carries a potential prison sentence of up to 5 years and/or fines up to $5,000.
  • Fraudulent Use of Personal Identification Information: Subsection (1)(c) addresses fraudulent use of personal identification information, stating that any person who uses or possesses with the intent to use personal identification information commits a felony of the third degree.
  • Credit Card Fraud: Subsection (1)(d) focuses on credit card fraud and establishes that any person who uses a credit card with the intent to defraud commits a felony of the third degree.

Additional Penalties and Considerations

  • Restitution: In cases of fraud, the court may order the offender to pay restitution to the victim(s) for the financial losses suffered due to the fraudulent activities.
  • Repeat Offenders: If an individual is found guilty of committing fraud more than once, the penalties may be enhanced, leading to more severe prison sentences and higher fines.
  • Civil Liability: In addition to criminal penalties, a victim of fraud may also pursue civil remedies, seeking compensation for damages in a separate civil lawsuit.


The term gold digger is steeped in misogyny and stereotypes and it is important to note that it is not a crime to marry for money. However, when a person employs deception for financial gain, they could be participating in fraud.

If you have been accused of a crime, contact our experienced legal team at Law Office of Armando J. Hernandez, P.A.

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