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Recent Blog Posts

When Is Chargeback Fraud a Federal Crime?

 Posted on July 20, 2024 in Fraud

Chicago, IL criminal defense attorneyThirty-three percent of Gen Zers either know someone who has committed chargeback fraud or admit to doing it themselves, according to recent data. Forty-two percent say they would be willing to commit chargeback fraud, and 22 percent of Millennials admit to doing so.

Chargeback fraud is when a customer buys a product and then calls the credit card company to dispute the charge even though it is a legitimate purchase. If the credit card company reverses the charge, it is referred to as a chargeback. In such a case, the customer gets to keep the product without paying for it. On the other hand, the merchant loses the merchandise as well as the money from the sale. The business is also fined by the credit card company for the chargeback.

Chargeback fraud is a form of first-party fraud, which is when an individual misrepresents his or her identity or gives false information to defraud a business or organization. First-party fraud can be treated as a state or federal crime, which this article will explore. To know more about your specific case, speak with an Illinois first-party fraud attorney.

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Can I Get Jail Time If I Download a Movie Illegally?

 Posted on July 10, 2024 in Computer Crime

Chicago, IL federal internet crime defense lawyerIf you want to download a movie, song, software, or any work made by someone else, you need to do one of two things: You either need to pay for the work, or obtain permission from the owner first. Otherwise, it is a federal internet crime called copyright infringement.

As we will see, copyright infringement can be punished severely, even more than some violent crimes. If you have been accused of copyright infringement, contact an Illinois copyright infringement attorney to make sure your rights are protected.

Will I Get Jail Time If I Download a Movie Illegally?

Copyright infringement can either be classified as a civil offense or a criminal offense. If you download a movie at home and privately watch it for your own pleasure, it will likely be considered a civil offense. In that case, you are not likely to receive jail time, but the studio can sue you for damages.

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Federal Crimes Involving Damage to Religious Property

 Posted on June 25, 2024 in Federal Crimes

Chicago federal hate crime lawyerBeing accused of a federal hate crime is a serious matter that requires immediate attention and expert legal guidance. If you find yourself in this situation, it is crucial to understand the charges, potential consequences, and steps you should take to protect your rights. An Illinois lawyer can help you potentially build a strong defense.

What to Know About Federal Hate Crime Charges

A federal hate crime involving damage to religious property is prosecuted under 18 U.S.C. § 247. This law prohibits intentionally damaging, defacing, or destroying religious real property or attempting to do so because of its religious character. The offense becomes more severe if it involves the use of fire, explosives, or other dangerous weapons. Key elements prosecutors must prove:

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What Happens If You Get Charged With Immigration Marriage Fraud?

 Posted on June 20, 2024 in Federal Crimes

Chicago immigration fraud lawyerImmigration marriage fraud is a serious offense that can lead to severe consequences for both U.S. citizens and foreign nationals. Entering into a marriage solely to obtain immigration benefits can lead to criminal charges and severe penalties for the couple involved. An Illinois lawyer can help you determine what constitutes immigration marriage fraud, the legal consequences, and how to protect yourself if you are facing such charges.

What Constitutes Immigration Marriage Fraud?

Immigration marriage fraud is when a U.S. citizen or permanent resident marries a foreign national solely to help gain legal status in the United States. This type of marriage is not based on a genuine relationship but rather on deception and the desire to circumvent immigration laws. Examples of immigration marriage fraud include:

  • Entering into a marriage exclusively for the purpose of immigration advantages

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Defending Against Federal Identity Theft Accusations

 Posted on June 13, 2024 in Identity Theft

Chicago criminal defense lawyerIf you face federal charges related to identity theft, the road ahead may seem like it is too much to bear. Identity theft is a serious crime that can carry potentially severe penalties under federal law. However, you do not have to face this difficult situation alone. An Illinois lawyer can provide the strong, strategic defense you need and protect your rights every step of the way.

What You Should First Know About Federal Identity Theft Charges

Identity theft happens when an individual uses someone else's personal information, like personal Security number or credit card details, without consent to engage in fraudulent activities or other criminal acts. While many identity theft cases are prosecuted at the state level, identity theft becomes a federal offense when it involves certain aggravating factors, such as:

  • Stealing the identity of a deceased person

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What is Considered Federal Credit Card Fraud?

 Posted on June 10, 2024 in Federal Crimes

Chicago criminal defense lawyerCommitting credit card fraud is a significant crime that carries severe consequences. You could face hefty fines and extended imprisonment. An Illinois lawyer can help you understand what constitutes federal credit card fraud and the potential consequences for those convicted.

What Exactly is Federal Credit Card Fraud?

Federal credit card fraud occurs when an individual knowingly intending to defraud uses, attempts to use, or conspires to use a counterfeit, altered, forged, lost, stolen, or fraudulently obtained credit card. It also includes the unauthorized use of a credit card obtained through fraudulent means, such as identity theft. Credit card fraud is a federal charge when the fraudulent activity crosses state lines or international borders. For example, if you stole someone’s credit card in Illinois to make online purchases at a retailer in Florida, this turns into federal credit card fraud.

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What Is Federal Mortgage Fraud and What Are the Penalties?

 Posted on May 30, 2024 in Mortgage fraud

IL defense lawyerThere are several types of fraud that are considered white-collar crimes. What they share in common is the fact that the person committing them misrepresents the truth, leaves out some important facts, or engages in otherwise fraudulent behavior. One specific type that we will examine today is mortgage fraud. When someone acts fraudulently during a mortgage transaction that affects financial institutions that are federally insured, mortgage fraud becomes a federal crime. The severe implications of a mortgage fraud conviction include heavy fines and long prison sentences. If you are facing federal mortgage fraud charges, speak with a qualified Chicago, IL mortgage fraud defense attorney who can protect your rights, explain your options, and build a strong defense.

When Is Mortgage Fraud a Federal Crime?

When the alleged behavior affects the government, it becomes a federal offense. That means the fraud could involve FHA-insured loans, VA loans, or other federally insured financial arrangements. Depending on the specifics of the case, federal mortgage fraud might also involve bank, mail, wire, or securities fraud.

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What to Know about Federal Marijuana Charges

 Posted on May 21, 2024 in Drug Crimes

IL defense lawyerMost people are aware that marijuana has been treated by law enforcement officials as an illegal drug for quite a while. A fairly new challenge in recent years is related to what happens when something is considered legal in a state but still considered an illegal drug according to federal law. Specifically, marijuana has been legalized in the state of Illinois, but possession of it remains a federal offense. This discrepancy has caused a great deal of confusion and unexpected implications. This article will explain a bit about marijuana-related laws in Illinois and how you might get into trouble with federal law. Of course, if you are concerned that you might be in legal trouble, speak with a skilled Chicago, IL criminal defense attorney who can review your case and offer you sound advice.

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Charges for Various Types of Federal Fraud

 Posted on May 10, 2024 in Fraud

IL defense lawyerThere are laws protecting individuals, organizations, and businesses from suffering financially as a result of someone else’s false claims. The United States federal government takes accusations of fraud very seriously. A wide variety of actions can be included under the umbrella category of “federal fraud” and can result in a wide range of penalties and sentences. If you are concerned that you might be accused of federal fraud, speak with a skilled Chicago, IL federal fraud lawyer to review your options.

Wire Fraud, Bank Fraud, and Mail Fraud

Three types of fraud can be punished with up to a $1,000,000 fine and up to 30 years in prison. These include:

  • Wire fraud: When you conduct fraud by wire, radio, or television. Additionally, there is no federal law specifically addressing mortgage fraud, so that type of offense is often prosecuted as wire fraud.
  • Bank fraud: Deceiving banks and other financial institutions

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Federal Hate Crimes

 Posted on May 08, 2024 in Hate Crime Statute

IL defense lawyerSimply put, a hate crime happens when both hate and crime are involved, but those two terms have specific definitions in the context of a hate crime, which will be explained below. However, since America grants its citizens the right to free speech and freedom of religion, the topic of hate crimes can be confusing. You might feel threatened by someone else’s beliefs or actions, which can feel directed against your religion. However, if you act to defend yourself against what you perceive as threatening actions, you might find yourself facing an accusation of hate crimes yourself. The possibility of a federal hate crime conviction can make you afraid, anxious, and stressed. If you are accused of a federal hate crime, speak with an experienced Chicago, IL hate crime defense attorney to understand what options you have.

What is Considered “Hate”

When used to characterize a type of crime, “hate” does not mean strong dislike or the opposite of like or love the way it does outside of a legal context, but rather it refers to a bias against people who share some characteristics. Most states define hate crimes as those committed on the basis of the perceived or actual sexual orientation, religion, race, nationality, gender, gender identity, or disability of the target.

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