One common charge I have fought in past is of phishing. This act is directly tied to identity theft and is considered a type of white collar crime. According to the FBI, phishing costs American taxpayers more than $1 billion annually, which is why prosecuting it has become a top priority. If you’ve been accused of phishing, my experience as a New Jersey computer crimes attorney can help.
What Is Phishing?
Phishing is a type of fraud that occurs whenever a person sends some form of electronic communication, usually an email, to try to gain access to sensitive personal or financial information. Phishing emails often look as though they are coming from an official, reputable site, such as from a bank, credit card company or retail store, when in reality they are just a fake email.
Common Phishing Scenarios
All phishing attacks have one thing in common, and that is they all ask for some type of sensitive information from the person receiving the email. This can be anything from Social Security numbers to account passwords. Phishing emails often claim to be from official representatives, and may contain what seem to be actual company logos. These emails might even threaten coercive action such as the closing of an account if the receiver does not respond within a certain amount of time.
What are the Criminal Elements of Phishing?
To be charged with phishing, you must “knowingly and intentionally” attempt to gain another party’s sensitive information in a fraudulent manner. This happens whenever someone pretends to be someone else in order to gain information that they otherwise would not have access to. This means that if a person sends a mass email pretending to be a bank representative, and asks recipients to provide them with account information, that could be considered phishing.
Acquiring Information Not Required
It’s important to note that you can be charged with phishing, even if you do not successfully obtain any sensitive information. The mere act of sending out fraudulent communications, to include creating a copycat website, is enough to establish probable cause for phishing. Therefore, it is not necessary for another person to respond to your email in order to be charged. Simply intending to garner private data is enough to warrant charges and the need for a New Jersey computer crimes attorney.
Acts That Are Not Phishing
Merely asking others for sensitive information does not necessarily constitute phishing. For example, if you are a retailer who offers lines of credit to your customers, you would not be guilty of phishing if you asked for financial information on a credit application. In this instance, you are not pretending to be someone you are not, and there is also a legitimate need for the information. As such, there wouldn’t be cause to charge you with a crime.
While most phishing scams are perpetrated via email, they can also take place via the Internet. This happens whenever a website is created that closely mimics that of another reputable organization, and is designed to “trick” people into providing sensitive information such as an account number or password. If a person creates, operates, or gathers information from such a website, they could be charged with phishing. As with emails, there is no requirement to actually obtain information. Rather, the act of putting up such a website may be enough to lead to criminal charges and require that you hire an experienced computer crimes attorney.
Federal Phishing Charges
A person can be charged in federal court with phishing, but there is no specific federal statute concerning phishing. Rather, a federal allegation of phishing likely would be charged as identity theft, or else as wire fraud, which occurs whenever fraudulent communications are sent through electronic means, such as by email.
New Jersey State Laws
Like many other states, New Jersey does not have any specific laws pertaining to phishing. Instead, phishing is generally classified under the broader category of identity theft.
Accused of Phishing? Contact a New Jersey Computer Crimes Attorney
If you’ve been accused of phishing, contact a New Jersey computer crimes attorney from The Law Offices of Timothy R. Anderson at 732-212-2812.
This post explains how the investigating grand jury process works in the federal court system, from the point of view of an experienced New Jersey federal criminal defense lawyer,
The Investigating Grand Jury in Federal Cases
This type of grand jury investigates a case to determine whether or not an indictment is warranted. First, an investigating grand jury typically requests and obtains documents through issuing subpoenas. From there, the prosecutor typically follows this process with the investigating grand jury:
- Calls non-essential witnesses or presents their testimony via agents
- Calls immunized cooperators and witnesses
- Goes back to see if previously uncooperative witnesses are now willing to testify
- Finishes presenting their case with an agent who summarizes the investigation and provides information about missing details
This process can take months or even years to unfold, and the investigation doesn’t end just because the grand jury’s term does. The prosecutor may elect to extend the grand jury’s term, or they may have a government agent summarize everything for a new grand jury. When the time comes to make a charging decision, the prosecutor summarizes all documents and testimony to the grand jury. Before the grand jury votes, the prosecutor explains the legal aspects of the charges and how their evidence may satisfy the elements of those charges. The prosecutor asks the jury if there are any questions and then provides them with the completed proposed indictment. Investigating grand juries don’t draft indictments. Rather, they vote up or down on them. A majority vote is enough to return an indictment, and the defense never learns the specific numbers of the vote, just that they indicted or not.
Hire a Skilled New Jersey Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you are facing federal criminal charges, including are being investigated by a federal grand jury, it is crucial to obtain experienced legal representation as soon as possible. You can call me, Tim Anderson at (732) 212-2812 to schedule an appointment to confidentially discuss your matter.
“White collar” crime can be a confusing area of the law for those who are not familiar with it because many aspects of this type of crime are different from other, more common crimes that are alleged and prosecuted. Understanding a white collar criminal case may require an attorney who is well-versed in this area of the law.
Generally, white collar crime is defined as criminal conduct used to deceive or defraud another party for the purposes of obtaining money, property or services. This can also be thought of as “paper” crimes because they usually occur in the workplace and are nonviolent. This does not mean, however, that they are minor or insignificant. To the contrary, egregious white collar crimes can be even more devastating and crippling to the livelihoods of innocent victims than physical crimes.
White collar crimes are prosecuted at both the state and federal levels, depending on the circumstances of a particular case. Because white collar crimes often involve investigations and acts that cross state lines, or that otherwise are covered by federal statutes, they are often turned into federal cases and prosecuted by an Assistant United States Attorney from the Department of Justice. However, such alleged crimes can be prosecuted by state assistant prosecutors as well. In either case, it is important to have a knowledgeable New Jersey white collar criminal defense attorney in your corner.
Do I really need a lawyer?
Anyone who faces a criminal investigation or charges would benefit from being represented by experienced legal counsel. If an accused person is innocent, he or she is especially in need of counsel because there is no guarantee that the legal system will recognize his or her innocence. Having a knowledgeable New Jersey federal white collar defense attorney on your side will help protect your rights and help ensure the best possible outcome for you. Conversely, if you intend to plead guilty, you would still benefit from an attorney able to negotiate on your behalf and work to minimize the negative effects of the plea on your future.
Don’t go into your white collar case unprepared. Talk to a New Jersey federal criminal defense attorney who specializes in white collar cases. Call attorney Tim Anderson today at 732-212-2812.
If you have been accused of a crime involving fraud, you will want to work with a New Jersey federal criminal defense attorney who can help you develop a defense strategy.
Fraud is a very serious crime that is typically prosecuted at the federal level. As a result, the penalties for a conviction can be severe; an experienced New Jersey federal criminal defense lawyer will know how to defend your rights against hardened prosecutors and federal agencies.
A New Jersey Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer Discusses Types of Fraud
As a New Jersey federal criminal defense attorney can tell you, there are many different types of fraud crimes. Generally, fraud involves an offense that has an element of dishonesty, misrepresentation, or deception against another person. Different types of fraud may involve different elements, and you will want to discuss the specific charge against you with a New Jersey federal criminal defense attorney.
Some common types of fraud include:
- tax fraud
- bankruptcy fraud
- mail fraud
- insurance fraud
- computer crimes and identity theft
- credit card and bank fraud
- wire fraud
- telemarketing scams
The above is just a sample of some of the more common types of fraud crimes. To learn more about a different fraud accusations, talk to a New Jersey federal criminal defense lawyer.
Defending a Fraud Case
Depending on the type of fraud charge you face, your New Jersey federal criminal defense attorney may employ several different defenses.
Generally, fraud is a crime that requires specific intent. As a result, prosecutors typically must show that your conduct was knowing and intentional. In addition, most fraud crimes require that the misrepresentation be material. In other words, the alleged fraudulent conduct must have influenced the victim and not have been a harmless action. There may be other defenses to fraud that your New Jersey federal criminal defense attorney can explain to you.
Contact a New Jersey Federal Criminal Defense Attorney
A conviction for a fraud crime can have severe consequences, including jail time, monetary fines, civil penalties, and other sanctions. That’s why it is so important to work with an experienced federal criminal defense lawyer to fight the charge. To discuss your case, contact New Jersey federal criminal defense attorney Tim Anderson at 732-212-2812.
“White Collar Crime” is the term used to describe different types of fraud in which deception and manipulation are used in order to gain a profit.
There are several different types of white collar crimes, such as bank fraud, insurance fraud, healthcare fraud, corporate fraud and securities fraud, all of which involve breaching the trust of an individual or individuals for personal gain.
White collar crime, no matter which type committed, is a serious offense. You are breaching the trust of many individuals by manipulating both them and your word in order to gain a profit for yourself. White collar crimes are not treated lightly by the law, and can have significant and lasting consequences. If you find yourself unknowingly involved in a white collar crime, or if you are being accused of a white collar crime, contact Tim Anderson today.
What is a fraud?
Typically, a fraud occurs when someone is deceived in order to obtain money, property or services from them.
What is Mail and Wire fraud?
The federal mail and wire fraud statutes cover most any type of fraud that in some way uses the “mail” or “wire.” “Mail” includes not only the United States Postal Service but also any mailings sent through a private commercial carrier. “Wire” includes the use of a telephone, television, radio, internet, computer or other communication device. To prove mail or wire fraud, a prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant somehow used the mail or other communication device to perpetrate a scheme with the intent to commit fraud. Frequently, mail and wire fraud charges are used in conjunction with more specific type of fraud charges, such as bank fraud or insider trading.
What should I do if I am charged with mail or wire fraud or I am believe I am being investigated?
Mail fraud or wire fraud is a serious charge with severe consequences. An indictment of mail or wire fraud will be based upon a significant and detailed investigation. It is important to discuss your rights, potential defenses and case strategies with an experienced white collar defense attorney if you believe that you may be under investigation or as soon as you are indicted. Early preparation by an experienced defense lawyer can increase your chances of a favorable outcome, including the possibility of you not being charged or of charges being dropped.
If you are being investigated for or have been charged with mail or wire fraud, the Law Offices of Timothy R. Anderson can help. Tim Anderson has extensive experience in handling mail and wire fraud cases.