Federal Internet Fraud Attorneys
If you’ve been charged with fraud or are under investigation for taking part in or spearheading a fraudulent scheme, you’ll need the legal help and aggressive representation of a federal defense attorney from Grabel & Associates. Using a wide network of resources and experience-backed defense strategies in U.S. courts, our internet fraud lawyers ensure expert representatives who’ll work tirelessly on your case.
For a free consultation with the leading internet fraud attorneys, contact Grabel & Associates today.
Computers and the internet have become fundamental in modern society. However, by taking advantage of the anonymity of the web, it has become much easier for fraudsters to scam other people and take their money (or other information) in exchange for a falsified promise. In essence, internet fraud and e-scams refer to any type or form of fraud that is facilitated by the internet or other web services and applications. As a white collar crime, committing internet fraud or other e-scams can result in federal charges, and convicted individuals may be looking at years behind bars or hundreds of thousands in fines.
Federal Internet Fraud Laws
There is a virtually endless array of illicit activities that could fall under the category of “internet fraud” or “computer crime.” Nevertheless, there are also many state and federal laws governing any type of fraud conducted via digital channels. In fact, most types of online fraud are prosecuted under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (18 U.S. Code Section 1030). Some important prohibited behaviors detailed in this Act include:
- Accessing a computer without authorization and obtaining information that the U.S. Government has classified.
- Accessing a computer without authorization and obtaining information from any protected computer or any information from a department or agency of the United States.
- Accessing a computer without authorization to obtain financial records or information from a financial institution.
- Knowingly and with the intent to commit fraud, accessing a computer to further a fraud scheme to obtain money or something of value.
- Knowingly causing harm or damage to a protected computer through the transfer of a program, information, code, or command.
- Trafficking in passwords or similar information to make protected computers accessible to unauthorized individuals.
- Making threats to obtain protected information or to damage a computer.
In addition to the Act and some of its provisions, there are several other federal laws governing internet fraud. Therefore, if under investigation or arrested for fraud, your case may fall under some of the following statutes:
- Fraud in connection with identification documents, authentication features, and information (18 U.S. Code Section 1028).
- Producing, using, and trafficking in counterfeit access devices (18 U.S. Code Section 1029).
- Fraud using wire, radio, or television communications (18 U.S. Code Section 1343).
- Intercepting, or trying to intercept, oral, wire, or electronic communications (18 U.S. Code Section 2511)
- Intentionally accessing store communications or intentionally accessing a facility where electronic communication service is provided in order to obtain, alter, or prevent unauthorized access to a wire or communication (18 U.S. Code Section 2701).
Furthermore, internet banking fraud is another federal crime governed by various statutes, including wire fraud (18 U.S. Code Section 1343) and bank fraud (18 U.S. Code Section 1344).
Charges and Penalties for Internet Fraud
Computer and internet fraud, or facilitating any e-scams, with the intent of scamming other individuals out of their cash or other valuable property, are federal crimes that carry some hefty punishments. However, it is important to keep in mind that the specific penalty will be related to the alleged offenses. Hacking a government computer, for instance, will carry a much stiffer punishment than phishing for passwords.
Nevertheless, convicted individuals could be looking at up to 20 years imprisonment and hundreds of thousands in fines. Some general penalties may include:
- Communications intercept crimes — One to five years imprisonment with a fine.
- Computer hacking — Up to three years imprisonment
- Hacking a government computer — Up to 10 years imprisonment
- Computer source document tampering — Up to three years imprisonment
Potential Defenses for Internet Fraud Charges
If you have been contacted by police or federal agents regarding alleged internet fraud or e-scams, don’t try and talk your way out of the charges. If federal agents are contacting you, you may be under investigation, which means that you need to have an experienced and prominent criminal defense attorney at your side. At the pre-file stage of the case, we’ll act as your spokesperson and attempt to prevent the charges from ever being filed.
Furthermore, some of the defense strategies we may employ will attempt to show:
- A lack of intent
- That you were an unwilling participant in the fraud scheme
- You committed fraud under duress
- The prosecution lacks evidence to achieve a conviction
The specific defense strategies we’ll employ depend on the circumstances surrounding the allegations against you. To speak with a highly experienced, aggressive, and professional federal crimes defense attorney, contact Grabel & Associates today. We offer free emergency consultations 24/7.