Triangulation is one of many types of auction fraud that occur using eBay and other online auction websites. Triangulation is a complex scheme that usually involves the use of stolen credit cards or other identifying financial information. Because there is an identity theft component involved in most triangulation fraud, it is not uncommon for federal and state authorities to aggressively pursue criminal charges against those involved.
If you are accused of participation in triangulation fraud, reach out to a criminal defense lawyer with experience as soon as possible so you can fight any charges you may face. A federal indictment for a felony offense could be handed down, leaving you responding to charges that carry lengthy maximum prison sentences. Bukh Law Firm, PLLC has experience with auction fraud cases involving triangulation and we can provide you with aggressive and knowledgeable legal representation as you respond to an investigation or to criminal charges.
What is Triangulation?
Triangulation fraud is an auction fraud scam in multiple parts. First, an item is listed on an auction site. In some cases, the item is listed at a price below retail in order to encourage active bidding. After someone buys the item, the seller who listed the auction accepts payment from the buyer via a wire transfer service like Western Union. The seller purchases the merchandise the auction winner bought, but does so using a stolen credit card. The stolen property is sent from the merchant to the buyer of the item, while the auction seller keeps the money.
Triangulation can result in the auction buyer becoming the target of a stolen property investigation. The buyer is frequently forced to give the item to law enforcement as part of the investigation, thus losing out on both the item and the funds paid to the seller.
What are the Penalties for Triangulation Fraud?
Penalties for triangulation fraud may be more serious than for most types of auction fraud because the crime involves the unauthorized use of a credit card. 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
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A defendant accused of identity theft or the use of a stolen credit card can face charges under 18 U.S. Code Section 1029, which prohibits the use of unauthorized access devices; as well as under Title 18 Section 1028 prohibiting fraud and related activities in connection with identification documents. Types of identifying documents or unauthorized access devices, as well as the amount of money taken and other related factors will determine the maximum prison sentence for a federal offense. You could be charged with multiple different federal felonies and misdemeanor crimes for a single act of triangulation, even if you were ultimately unsuccessful in completing the scam.
New York also has laws in Penal Code Article 190 specifically addressing the crime of identity theft and misuse of credit card information. The value of the funds taken as part of the triangulation fraud scam will be a determinative factor in penalties faced for identity theft under NY law.
Other federal and state charges could include bank fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, and larceny. Any criminal charge can lead to a lengthy trial, a ruined reputation, a criminal record that follows you for life, and possible jail time and fines. There is also a very real risk the government will freeze bank accounts and will be able to take your property and assets through civil or criminal forfeiture if it is suspected you acquired funds through a triangulation scam.
How Can a Triangulation Auction Fraud Lawyer Help?
There are options for responding when you have been accused of crimes related to triangulation fraud. You need to decide how to plead, what evidence to present, and how to make your case to try to minimize penalties or secure a not guilty verdict.
Bukh Law Firm, PLLC provides legal representation to those accused of triangulation fraud or other auction fraud crimes. We have dedicated our careers to fighting for clients accused of crimes to help them navigate the complex justice system with their rights intact.
Give us a call today so we can begin helping you develop a response to charges of auction fraud.