Overpayment Fraud Explained by a New York Auction Fraud Defense Lawyer
The Internet has opened up the door for people to connect in new ways, and online auctions are one of the most popular uses of the Internet. eBay and other major auction websites connect buyers and sellers from around the world in millions of transactions. While most go off without a problem, online auctions can also be rife with potential scam opportunities. In fact, around one in four complaints made to the Internet Crime Complaint Center arise due to some type of auction fraud.
One of the most common auction fraud scams involves overpayment fraud. Bukh Law Firm, PLLC provides legal representation to buyers accused of overpayment fraud. This simple offense can result in multiple criminal charges, including charges for a federal crime that could carry a maximum sentence of three decades imprisonment. Take your auction fraud charges seriously if you are being investigated for overpayment fraud- call Bukh Law Firm PLLC today to get a strong legal advocate on your side.
What is Overpayment Fraud?
Overpayment fraud involves a buyer paying a seller more than an item is worth and/or more than a seller is asking for. The buyer sends a check or a money order to the seller, asking the seller to send back the overpayment. The seller returns the excess money, but it turns out that the initial money order or check was fraudulent.
How Does Overpayment Fraud Work?
Overpayment fraud can take different forms. In some cases, someone bids on an auction (usually offering more than the item is worth) and then sends an overpayment when his bid is the winning one.
In other situations, the person involved in the overpayment scam could contact someone who has an item listed on an auction site and offer to purchase the item for more than it is worth if the buyer is willing to end the auction. Arkady Bukh has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in NYC TOP RATED ON:
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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
No matter how the initial contact is made, the crux of the scam involves sending a fraudulent check or money order in excess of the amount due. There are lots of different explanations for why too much money is sent, including uncertainty about final costs or shipping costs. The seller is asked to wire the money to the person who sent the overpayment. The funds arrive to the person perpetrating the scam before the seller realizes the check or money order was fraudulent.
Penalties for Overpayment Fraud
Because overpayment fraud involves writing a fraudulent check or sending a fake money order, the charges for this offense are usually extremely serious. You could be charged with bank fraud or check fraud on the state or federal level. Bank fraud under 18 U.S. Code Section 1344 carries a possible penalty of a million dollar fine and a maximum prison sentence of 30 years imprisonment. A prosecutor does not have to prove you specifically intended to defraud a financial institution to charge you with bank fraud, as you can be convicted simply because your fraudulent actions were likely to result in a financial institution sending money or assets based on the misrepresentation.
State laws also make check fraud and overpayment fraud illegal. Article 190 of the New York Penal Code imposes penalties for fraud and identity theft offenses, which are generally felony crimes depending on the value of the money at stake.
A New York Auction Scam Lawyer Can Help Fight Overpayment Fraud Charges
Many people who engage in overpayment fraud are not aware of the possible consequences of this offense. If you are charged, prosecutors are going to take the crime seriously and may push for the maximum penalties. You need to fight for your freedom and work towards the best possible outcome. Bukh Law Firm, PLLC can help you to determine whether a plea deal is your best course of action or whether you can fight the charges and try to secure a not guilty verdict. Call today to learn more.