What is Internet Fencing? A NY Defense Lawyer Provides Information
Internet fencing is the practice of using the Internet to offload stolen goods. Fencing of stolen items may take place through eBay, through Craigslist, and through other online sites where buyers and sellers connect. Buyers may sometimes be unaware of the fact they are purchasing stolen goods.
If you are accused of involvement with an Internet fencing scheme, you can face serious legal problems. A New York criminal defense attorney at Bukh Law Firm, PLLC will provide you with legal representation whenever you are accused of crimes involving stolen property or online fraud. Our attorneys understand how to successfully develop a trial strategy designed to help reduce penalties or reduce the chances of a conviction so give us a call as soon as possible in the process of responding to criminal charges.
What is Internet Fencing?
Fencing refers to the sale of stolen goods. The Internet has made it easier for people who unlawfully acquire items to sell those items and turn them into cash. Several different kinds of Internet fencing may occur on the world wide web. For example:
- Forum websites like this one provide an opportunity for people or organizations with stolen items to connect to individuals or organized enterprises that specialize in offloading those items. There are discussions of how to sell stolen goods on both websites generally accessible to the public as well as on sites on the dark net.
- Auction sites and classified websites like Craigslist provide an opportunity to list electronics, jewelry and other items for sale. In this type of Internet fencing, purchasers are typically unaware that the goods they are buying have been stolen.
No matter what your involvement in an Internet fencing scheme, there is a risk of criminal charges. Both buying and selling stolen goods is against the law, even if you were not the person who actually stole the items. 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
Penalties for Internet Fencing
NY Penal Code Article 155 imposes penalties for larceny, or the theft of goods. The specific consequences associated with stealing goods are going to vary depending upon the aggregate value of items taken. There are four degrees of grand larceny, as well as a criminal offense of petit larceny (petty theft). As soon as the value of items stolen exceeds $1,000, the theft offense becomes a felony.
NY Penal Code Article 160 addresses the criminal offense of possessing stolen goods. To be convicted of this offense, the defendant must have knowledge the property is stolen and must possess it with intent to benefit himself or any other non-owner. An individual who assists in using the Internet to offload stolen goods can be charged under this statute, even if he did not participate in the theft in any way. A buyer who knows that an item he is purchasing has been stolen can also be charged with criminal possession of stolen goods. There are five degrees of criminal possession of stolen property under NY law, and this offense also becomes a felony as soon as $1,000 or more in goods is involved.
While state penalties are serious, defendants involved in Internet fencing can also face federal criminal charges. 18 U.S. Code Section 2315 makes it a federal offense to receive, possess, barter, sell, or dispose of stolen property with an aggregate value of $5,000 or more if the property crosses state lines. When an item is fenced on eBay or using another online service and is sent across state lines, federal prosecutors may become involved and prosecute you for a crime carrying penalties of up to 10 years in prison under this code section.
These are just a few possible criminal charges a defendant could face for Internet fencing. The specifics of your charges will vary depending upon how you attempt to sell the stolen property.
Accused of Internet Fencing? Call a NY Criminal Lawyer
Bukh Law Firm, PLLC has provided legal representation to many clients accused of Internet fencing and other online crimes. Give us a call today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can provide assistance in your case.