A NYC Criminal Defense Attorney Explains Inheritance and Will Fraud
Making false promises via phone, via postal mail, or over the Internet can be considered a criminal act. There are many common type of fraud scams that are in violation of the law, including inheritance scams and will fraud. Involvement in any part of a scam operation can lead to charges on the state level or on the federal level, depending upon the specific actions taken and the amount of money involved.
At Bukh Law Firm, PLLC, our New York City criminal defense team provides legal representation to clients who are facing misdemeanor or felony fraud crimes charges on the state or federal level. We provide assistance in resolving all legal problems and developing the necessary legal strategy to try to secure a not guilty verdict or negotiate a plea agreement in which penalties are limited. Call to speak with an NYC defense attorney as soon as you suspect you are being investigated so we can get started right away on fighting to help you avoid grave consequences for alleged criminal acts.
What is Inheritance Fraud or Will Fraud ?
Inheritance or will fraud crimes generally take the form of providing false and misleading information to someone about the fact he has inherited money. The information can be transmitted via email, on a social network or other Internet source, via telephone, or via mail. The goal is for the individual being targeted to provide financial information or to pay money in order to receive an inheritance that does not actually exist.
Inheritance frauds or will fraud may include:
- Informing someone he has been left money or property but must provide personal identifying information and/or financial information to receive the inheritance assets. The financial information is misused in an identity theft scam.
- Informing someone he has been left money or property, but must pay some type of tax or fee up front. When the fee is paid, no inheritance assets actually are provided.
- Sending a check for an “inheritance,” with the condition the recipient cash the check and forward on a part of the funds for fees or costs. The recipient cashes the check, which turns out to be fraudulent, but sends the money on before becoming aware that the check was not a legitimate one.
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These are just a few examples of situations in which material misleading statements are made about an inheritance in order to get the target of the scam to part with money or valuable information. Making false statements to defraud others or to benefit you can result in prosecution for criminal behavior.
Penalties for Inheritance Scams
Anyone involved in an inheritance scam, including those who send emails or make contact as well as individuals who send or receive stolen funds, can potentially face criminal charges for a variety of crimes including:
- NY or federal fraud charges.
- Bank fraud charges
- Identity theft charges
- Wire fraud charges
- Mail fraud charges
The criminal laws prohibiting fraudulent behavior impose serious penalties, with the potential maximum sentence for offenses like mail fraud reaching as high as three decades imprisonment if a financial institution is schemed out of assets. It is also likely a defendant could be subject to civil or criminal forfeiture, to a civil lawsuit, and to requirements that assets be frozen and restitution be paid to alleged victims.
How a Will Lawyer Can Help Defendants Charged with Inheritance Frauds
At Bukh Law Firm, PLLC, our experienced legal defense team provides invaluable legal representation to clients who have been accused of violating the law through participation in inheritance scams. When you need a NYC criminal defense lawyer who understands complex fraud cases and who can build strong defenses for clients, give us a call as soon as possible.