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chicago credit card fraud lawyerIf you are convicted of or plead guilty to a federal charge of card fraud, the penalties can be quite severe. Sentencing for credit card fraud at the federal level can include prison time, fines, restitution orders, and forfeiture of assets. If you find yourself charged with federal credit card fraud, both your freedom and your financial future are at great risk. It is critical that you contact an experienced Credit Card Fraud Attorney as soon as possible to minimize your risks. 

What Legal Penalties Could I Face for Federal Credit Card Fraud? 

  • Prison - Credit card fraud at the federal level is punishable by up to ten years in prison. 

  • Fines - You could be fined up to $10,000, not including the cost of restitution. 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1481921432.jpgIs it a federal crime to open someone else’s mail? The short answer is “yes.” Opening or destroying mail that is addressed to someone else is a crime called “Obstruction of Correspondence.” It is a serious felony that could lead to prison time. It is remarkably easy to find yourself charged with this crime, even if you didn’t mean to do anything wrong. Maybe you got curious and opened a letter addressed to your roommate, or a letter meant for your neighbor landed in your mailbox and you ripped it open without looking. The good news is that an experienced federal crime attorney can help you, and depending on the circumstances, possibly even have your charges dismissed. If you find yourself charged with any federal mail crime, you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible. 

What if I Opened Someone’s Mail by Accident? 

If it was an accident, that does not fit the definition of Obstruction of Correspondence. Intent is an important element that the prosecution has to prove in order to get a conviction. It doesn’t count as a crime if you reasonably thought the mail you opened belonged to you. This commonly happens when mail arrives addressed to a previous tenant or someone else who no longer lives in your residence, like a former roommate. Sometimes mail is addressed incorrectly- perhaps the sender wrote the wrong apartment number on an envelope and your neighbor’s mail is delivered to you in error. In any case, you still need a qualified defense attorney to help you prove your lack of intent if you’ve been charged. 

What Should I Do if I Receive Mail Addressed to Another Person? 

It is a federal crime to destroy mail that isn’t yours. While it may be tempting to simply toss an envelope addressed to a previous tenant or someone else in the trash, do not do this. Absolutely do not open it. Even if your intentions are good, or you know the person the mail is addressed to, opening and reading another person’s mail is a felony. You have two legal options- either deliver the mail unopened to the correct addressee yourself or write something like “addressee does not live here” on the envelope and put it in your outgoing mail. Destroying it could carry serious penalties, including up to five years imprisonment or large fines. 

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Posted by on in Identity Theft

IL defense lawyerA New York man was sentenced to 36 months in prison for computer fraud and aggravated identity theft. According to the Justice Department news release, he hacked into a college’s network, stole email account information, including passwords. He used that information to gain access to female students’ social media accounts, where he collected nude photos and videos. Then, he traded the private photos with others online.

In response, the college allocated money and resources to address the network breach and assess and repair the damage. Because of that, the court also ordered the man to pay more than $35,000 in restitution and fees to the college.

As far as internet and computer fraud goes, the incident sounds fairly basic, but it begs the question: what is aggravated identity theft?

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IL defense lawyerFederal prosecutors indicted a suburban Chicago man who owns a drug wholesale company for buying $57.2 million worth of unregulated prescription drugs and re-selling them to unsuspecting drug stores and distributors. According to court documents, the man allegedly bought diverted prescription drugs at a discounted rate from unlicensed suppliers, told his employees to clean up the materials so they looked regulated, and then told buyers he acquired them from a licensed supply chain.

Prosecutors argue that because the prescription drugs did not come through a legitimate supply chain, they are unregulated and pose a serious health risk to those who use them. Pharmaceuticals, like the drugs in question, are supposed to be regulated by the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA), whose criminal investigative division investigated the case.

The man was charged with six counts of mail fraud, four counts of wire fraud, and three counts of money laundering. In other words, a fairly common stack of white-collar financial crimes.

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Posted by on in Weapons

IL defense lawyerThe term “straw purchase” is a type of gun crime often used in reference to buying a firearm illegally. More specifically, it is when you go into a gun store and buy a firearm for a person who is legally prohibited from buying or possessing one. The reason the prohibited person might do this is fairly straightforward. He or she would be unable to honestly complete the process.

When you buy a firearm, you have to fill out a form and answer questions showing that you are legally allowed to buy and possess a firearm. The gun dealer then submits the form for review by the FBI, specifically by the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Checks System, or NICS for short, to review your criminal record.

The term has been in the news recently because the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago filed charges this week against an Indiana man for conspiring to straw purchase a handgun that was used in the shooting of two Chicago police officers, an incident that left one officer severely injured and the other dead.

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