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Posted by on in Fraud

IL defense lawyerThe Justice Department recently indicted 10 men from the Chicago area on bank fraud charges. According to a press release issued by the department, the men allegedly deposited the counterfeit money orders, which were issued by the U.S. Postal Service, into bank accounts they had access to and then immediately withdrew the money. The indictments allege that the men committed fraud by altering the money orders, changing them from $10 to a higher sum, typically $800 or $1,000, and then depositing the fraudulent amounts. In all, the men allegedly defrauded more than $1 million from various banks.

For many, a couple of things might jump out in this case. First, the alleged crime was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Although you rarely hear about the Postal Inspectors, they are actually one of the oldest federal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. Like the FBI, they have the power to enforce a wide range of federal laws, but the crimes usually have to somehow involve the Postal Service.

The other part is the severity of the punishment. The defendants, in this case, are being accused of bank fraud and not a crime of violence, yet if they are convicted, each individual could face up to 30 years in prison and up to $1 million in fines. Now, you might be wondering: why is the punishment for bank fraud so harsh?

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IL federal crimes attorney, IL ppp fraud lawyerEarlier this year, the federal government rolled out the CARES Act, which included the Payroll Protection Program (PPP). The PPP was intended to help small business owners keep their employees on the payroll during the pandemic, and help them pay for other costs, such as utilities and rent. Now, it is being learned that many large businesses, such as Shake Shack, are improperly applying for and being granted these loans. Even smaller businesses may face federal charges if it is found out that they have not been using the funds appropriately. So, what should you do if you become the subject of a PPP investigation?

What Prompts a PPP Fraud Investigation?

Since the PPP was introduced, federal agencies have stated that auditing the loans, particularly those over the amount of $2 million, will be a priority for them. An audit will likely be conducted if the government suspects that the borrower lied about owning a business so they could fraudulently obtain a loan, or the borrower was deceptive about the number of employees they have in order to secure a larger amount.

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ponziPonzi schemes have become famous after news was made of Dona Branca’s scheme, the “Double Shah” and of course, the original Charles Ponzi scheme. Still, even though Ponzi schemes often make the news, few people really understand what they are, and what is at stake if they are charged with running such a scheme. Learn more about Ponzi schemes below, what types of criminal charges are involved, and what to do if you are charged. What Is a Ponzi Scheme? Ponzi schemes are considered white-collar crimes that typically involve some type of fraud. They are not violent crimes, but they are not what some call ‘victimless’ either, because these schemes do defraud people out of their money. A Ponzi scheme will involve an investor that convinces people or groups of people to invest a large amount of money with them in the hopes of obtaining a large return on that investment. The money paid by these individuals is then distributed to others that have also been convinced to invest. The majority of the money collected from investors is kept by the person or group running the scheme. Usually, the scheme is discovered when an investor wants to cash out, but they do not receive any payments because no new investors have been brought into the scheme. Ponzi Schemes and Criminal Charges Due to the fact that Ponzi schemes typically include some type of fraud, a person may face several charges if they are suspected of running such a scheme. The most common of these include:
  • Mail fraud, if the government suspects a person used the postal office in an effort to further the scheme
  • Securities fraud, including violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1933, and the Investment Company Act of 1940
  • Securities and commodities fraud, which involves using promises to secure money for a commodity deliver occurring in the future
A number of federal agencies may investigate suspected Ponzi schemes, depending on the nature of the offense. It is important to understand the agencies that may investigate potential Ponzi scheme cases, so you can better understand if you are under investigation. The Federal Trade Commission will investigate any scheme that involves securities and commodities fraud, while the Securities and Exchange Commission will investigate any scheme that involves securities fraud. When a suspected scheme involves a significant financial crime, the Financial Fraud Task Force may also investigate. The Task Force is composed of 94 U.S. Attorney’s Offices and 20 federal agencies that specialize in offenses involving fraud. Our Chicago Criminal Defense Lawyer Is Here to Help

Like all federal charges, the penalties for running a Ponzi scheme are harsh for those convicted. At the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel, our skilled Chicago criminal defense lawyer can help. Attorney Garfinkel understands that federal prosecutors are sometimes overzealous when investigating these cases, and that innocent people are often charged. He also knows the best defenses and will use them effectively to give you the best chance of retaining your freedom. If you or a loved one has been charged, call us at 312-629-0669 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

Source:

https://www.justice.gov/archives/jm/criminal-resource-manual-940-18-usc-section-1341-elements-mail-fraud

Posted by on in Fraud

Illionois defense attorney,  Illinois criminal defense lawyerWhen most people think of tax fraud, they typically think of a person that tries to avoid paying the proper taxes they owe and then get charged with tax evasion. While that is certainly one type of criminal offense involving taxes, there are others as well. These offenses fall under the umbrella term of tax fraud and many people can be charged with these crimes, including accountants, without even realizing that they engaged in criminal activity.

What Is Tax Fraud?

Tax fraud, in its simplest terms, occurs when a person makes intentional misrepresentations, or false statements, on a tax return, or a person falsifies tax documents. Tax evasion, on the other hand, refers to using illegal means to avoid paying taxes. Tax fraud is governed under 26 U.S.C. 7206 (1) and under this statute, a person may face charges of tax fraud if they:

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Posted by on in Fraud

credit-card-fraudIt was in late March that a major credit card fraud ring was shut down, an effort that was coordinated between Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) and United States law enforcement. One man is believed to be the mastermind behind over 40 websites on the dark web that were used to collect and sell stolen credit cards. The man and his associates used cryptocurrency to move hundreds of millions of dollars gained from the credit card theft, and it was this gain that the American authorities seized.

Although stealing credit cards is one type of credit card fraud, there are others that happen very frequently, as well. Three of the most common types of fraud that are considered federal offenses are below.

Phishing Scams

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