A NY Auction Fraud Attorney Explains When Misrepresentation is a Crime
Since eBay fist began operating in September of 1995, the auction sight has provided the opportunity for millions of people to connect with each other to buy and sell items. Almost as soon as the site began, however, fraud became a problem. While eBay takes steps to protect buyers and sellers from fraudulent behavior, this does not mean that scams never occur on the online auction site. In some cases, these schemes end in criminal charges.
Bukh Law Firm, PLLC knows that you could become involved in a fraudulent misrepresentation scam on eBay unintentionally or without knowledge of how serious the crime of misrepresentation is. You could find yourself with police or even the FBI at your door and you could be facing serious criminal charges that shape your future. You must take steps to protect yourself, and this means calling a New York criminal defense lawyer with experience in auction fraud as soon as possible if you are accused of wrongdoing.
Our NY auction fraud lawyers provide legal representation to clients accused of all types of misrepresentation, from shill bidding or shill auctions to selling counterfeit items as if they were real. Whenever you have been charged with wrongdoing, let us help you put together the strongest possible defense so you can try to avoid being convicted of a state or federal crime. Arkady Bukh has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in NYC TOP RATED ON: SUPER LAWYERS, AVVO, NATIONAL TRIAL LAWYERS
Top Rated Criminal Lawyer
Arkady Bukh has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in NYC
TOP RATED ON: SUPER LAWYERS, AVVO, NATIONAL TRIAL LAWYERS
What is Fraudulent Misrepresentation?
Misrepresentation, defined broadly, simply means giving a false or misleading account of something. If you are dishonest about current facts or about your future intentions, you may be guilty of misrepresentation.
Fraudulent misrepresentation generally involves an individual or company providing misleading information with the intent to trick others or with the intent to become personally enriched. Fraudulent misrepresentation can give rise to civil actions, including lawsuits for breach of contracts. State or federal authorities may also press charges if the misrepresentation occurred via mail, wire, TV, or radio communications or if the misrepresentation occurred under circumstances in which an individual had a legal duty of honesty.
Types of Fraud Misrepresentation
In March of 2011, the New York Times reported fraud in eBay art auctions. Three men were accused of obtaining more than $450,000 from art-lovers after misleading those art lovers by making paintings appear as if they had been painted by famous artists.
Those involved in the scam provided false statements about where the painting had been obtained (in one case claiming a painting had been purchased at a garage sale) and about why there was damage to a portion of the painting purporting to show an artist’s initials. The scam also involved shill bidding to artificially inflate the price of the painting.
This is just one of many different examples of fraud misrepresentation that has occurred in an eBay auction. Fraud may come in the form of:
- Fake buyers on eBay
- Fake bidders on eBay
- A fake eBay Seller
Fake bidders may place both high and low bids on an item to drive other purchasers away, subsequently withdrawing the high bid at the last moment to buy the item for a very low price. In this case, they have misrepresented the amount they will pay.
Fake buyers on eBay may pay for auctions using stolen credit card information, or may “overpay” for items with fraudulent checks and then ask the seller to wire money back. They have misrepresented their intentions and misrepresented where the funds were coming from.
Fake eBay sellers may list auctions that don’t exist for the purpose of getting buyer funds, or may provide misleading information on the nature and quality of items for sale. Posting pictures of different items, posting misleading pictures, and posting dishonest description are a few of the different kinds of fraud misrepresentation committed by fake eBay sellers.
What are the Penalties for Fraudulent Misrepresentation?
Penalties for fraudulent misrepresentation vary depending upon the circumstances. The men involved with the art scam who engaged in shill bidding and who made false statements ended up being charged with multiple counts of wire fraud, mail fraud, and money laundering according to the New York Times. These are federal offenses that could result in decades of imprisonment.
Defendants could also be accused of violating copyright or other intellectual property laws, as well as charged with larceny and forgery offenses. The penalties will vary depending upon whether you are charged with a state or a federal offense as well as depending upon the nature of the scheme and amount of money involved. Restitution is commonly required and the government could freeze money and seize cash and assets it suspects were obtained through participation in fraudulent misrepresentation schemes.
How Can a Misrepresentation Lawyer Help?
A prosecutor has to prove you made intentionally misleading statements or were willfully blind to the truth in order to be able to secure a conviction for misrepresentation . You can defend yourself and you should explore options for either negotiating a plea deal or fighting conviction.
Bukh Law Firm, PLLC provides legal representation to clients accused of fraudulent misrepresentation. We will work hard to help you fight charges so you can try to get the best outcome you can as you navigate the criminal justice system. Call today to learn more .