Advance Fee Fraud Crimes Explained By NY Defense Lawyer
According to the FBI: “An advance fee scheme occurs when the victim pays money to someone in anticipation of receiving something of greater value—such as a loan, contract, investment, or gift—and then receives little or nothing in return.”
Advance fee fraud scams often require clients to sign contracts in order to be introduced to someone who will provide financing or special deals. The FBI indicates the contracts “may be legal unless it can be shown that the “finder” never had the intention or the ability to provide financing for the victims.”
Although it can be difficult for prosecutors to prove intent to scam in advanced fee fraud cases, state and federal law enforcement agencies will investigate allegations of schemes and defendants could be charged with serious crimes. If you have been accused of involvement with a scam related to charging upfront fees, Bukh Law Firms, PLLC will help you to defend yourself against the accusations so you can try to fight being imprisoned or forced to pay restitution. Call today to learn about the legal defense services offered by our experienced NY criminal law firm.
Types of Advance Fee Fraud
Advance fee fraud occurs under any circumstances where false promises are made to entice someone to pay a fee upfront. The U.S. Department of Treasury explains four common types of advance fee fraud, which include:
- A promise to send money or products, or to provide services, after an upfront or advanced fee has been paid.
- An offer to allow participation in a special deal after an advance fee is paid.
- A request to help remove money from a country that is in political turmoil.
- A request to provide law enforcement with assistance in catching thieves.
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
The advance fee may be called a handling fee, taxes, a membership fee, or an administrative fee. The FBI also indicates that some advance fee scams include offers to help clients find financing arrangements after a finder’s fee is paid. The “clients” either pay the fee immediately or sign contracts promising to pay the fee when introduced to the source of financing. After the fee is paid, the clients learn they are not eligible to receive the special financing deal. These types of contracts may be considered legal, unless a prosecutor can prove that the finder did not have the intent or the ability to help those who were scammed to secure financing.
Advance Fee Scam Penalties
Penalties for advanced fee scam may be imposed only if prosecutors can prove every element of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt. In the case of fraud crimes, this means proving intent to mislead or to use material false statements to acquire money or other items of value under false pretenses.
If a prosecutor can prove criminal wrongdoing, a defendant could be charged with multiple different consumer fraud offenses. Both state and federal law prohibit fraud in advertising, Internet fraud, telemarketing fraud, and the use of postal or wire communications to commit fraud. The penalties are very serious for fraud offenses, especially for those charged with federal crimes like mail fraud and wire fraud– each of which carry a possible sentence of 20-30 years imprisonment, depending upon whether a financial institution was defrauded of funds as part of the scheme.
A NY Defense Lawyer Represent Clients Accused of Advanced Fee Fraud
Bukh Law Firms, PLLC understands the law behind fraud prosecutions and knows how to help cast doubt on whether a crime was committed. Our legal team will work hard to help make sure the prosecutor cannot make a strong enough case to get a conviction. We can also provide options for raising affirmative defenses, or for negotiating a plea agreement to reduce the penalties that could result from being convicted of advanced fee fraud. To learn more about the legal services we offer after fraud accusations are made, contact us today to speak with an experienced NY criminal defense lawyer.