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Internet Crimes

Federal Internet Crimes Defense Lawyer

Legal Defense Against Federal Cyber Crimes

The advent of the Internet has made certain crimes possible where before they were not, or much easier to commit than they once were. Unfortunately, the law is slow to catch up, and some law enforcement agencies are still not sure how to handle Internet-based white-collar crimes . Internet crimes include many different types of crimes.

Because commerce on the Internet almost always crosses state lines, Internet fraud is usually charged as a federal offense. These are very serious crimes that carry up to 20 years in prison for a first offense. In addition, in many cases, authorities may also seize property they believe was used in or purchased with proceeds from the alleged fraud. However, you may be charged with identity theft or other types of theft by fraud under California state law in addition to your federal charges.

Solicitation of a Minor

Federal law makes it a crime to engage in any on-line solicitation of a minor for a sexual purpose. A sexual purpose is defined as having the intent to commit a sexual activity with that minor. On-line solicitation is one of the most targeted and investigated activities by federal law enforcement. The act of on-line solicitation often occurs in the form of e-mail or instant messaging. Contacting a minor becomes a violation of federal law when the nature of the conversation turns sexually explicit.

In order to be prosecuted physical contact with the minor is not required. The mere sexually explicit communication or forwarding of sexually explicit materials to the minor is enough for a conviction under federal law.

18 U.S.C. Section 2422 provides punishment for whoever, using the mail or any facility of interstate or foreign commerce to knowingly persuade or induce anyone under 18 years old  to engage in any sexual activity that could result in criminal charges, or attempts to. If convicted of solicitation of a minor you may be facing large fines and/or imprisonment for a minimum of ten years.

Police, federal prosecutors and judges take a very aggressive approach to convict anyone accused of solicitation of a minor. You will need to retain the services of a skilled federal sex crime defense attorney into the case early to provide time to have an independent investigation of the evidence in your case. It is possible to reveal inconsistencies in the victim's claim or other flaws in the sex crime case which can result in charges being reduced or dropped altogether.

Federal Sex Crimes

Federal sex crime charges are typically only filed if one of two circumstances is met: (1) the activities took place on federal property – i.e. military bases, government buildings and federal facilities; and/or (2) the acts involved communication or transportation across state lines. With the rise of the internet and the ease of online communication the initiation of many sex crimes begin online. Some of the federal sex crimes include 18 U.S. Code § 2252A:

Child Pornography (Section 2252A)

  • Production of sexually explicit depictions of a minor for importation into United States (Section 2260).
  • Transporting someone in interstate commerce with the intent they engage in prostitution or other illegal sexual activity (Section 2421).
  • Transportation of minors in interstate commerce with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity (Section 2423(a)).
  • Interstate or foreign travel with intent to engage in a sexual act with a juvenile (Section 2423(b)).
  • Use of interstate facilities to transmit information about someone under 16, with  intent to entice or solicit them to engage in any unlawful sexual activity. (Section 2425).
  • Sexual Exploitation of Children – 18 U.S.C. § 2251
  • Selling or Buying of Children – 18 U.S.C. § 2551A

We understand, based on our five decades of federal criminal defense experience, the very serious nature of internet sex crimes and the consequences for not consulting with a lawyer from the beginning of your case.

In addition to protecting your rights and advising you of your legal options, a federal sex crime attorney could also take steps that will result in a lesser charge or a dismissal of a case altogether. If you have been arrested or currently under federal investigation for a sex-related internet crime, contact our federal criminal defense lawyers immediately. We handle all types of federal sex crime criminal cases, including online solicitation of a minor, online sex sting cases, downloading child pornography, and other online predatory cases.

Federal Identity Theft

Identity theft laws make it a crime to misuse another person's identifying information — whether personal or financial. This personal identifying information, including social security numbers, driver's license number, credit history, and PIN numbers, may be acquired through the internet. It is possible to gain access to personal information through unsecured networks or internet purchasing scams.

18 U.S.C. § 1028 provides punishment anyone who knowingly produces an identification or false document, or who possesses these documents with intent to defraud. If convicted of identity theft you may be facing large fines and/or imprisonment for up to fifteen years. However, if the identity theft was committed as part of a drug crime scheme or terrorism scheme you will face enhanced punishment.

Fraudulently posing as another person is a criminal act and carries serious penalties. Identity theft charges include:

  • Internet identity theft where online purchases are made using another person's credit card.
  • Submitting a credit card application or purchasing merchandise using another person's identity.
  • Using counterfeit credit cards, driver's license or other official records.
  • Forgery of a signature on a check, credit card, or debit card purchase.

If an individual commits identity theft using the internet that crossed state lines, this can be prosecuted as a federal crime. Our law firm can develop a defense strategy from the beginning of your case, and may be able to reduce or dismiss the criminal charge before you even discuss settlement or go to trial. We have successfully handled fraud related type cases including forgery, credit card fraud, counterfeiting in Los Angeles and throughout the state of California.

Federal Credit Card Fraud

Credit card fraud includes both the theft of someone else's credit card and the creation of a false credit card. It is committed in one of three ways: either someone fraudulently obtains or forges someone else's credit card information, or they use their own credit card knowing it's  revoked or expired or lacks enough money to pay for the items charged, or when someone sells goods or services to another person knowing credit card being used was illegally obtained or used without consent.

18 U.S.C. Section 1029 makes it a crime to knowingly with intent to defraud use, or traffic in access devices. (Access devices are defined in the section as any card of account access that can be used to obtain money or services, or that can be used to initiate a transfer of funds. If convicted of credit card fraud you may be facing large fines and/or imprisonment of up to twenty years.

Credit card fraud is a form of theft, where deception is used to defraud others of the credit card information and then using that information to commit a crime. This type of crime is classified as a white collar crime due to it's link to finance and businesses. This type of crime is particularly common using the internet. Federal and state prosecutors will aggressively pursue a conviction. However, fraud crimes require that the defendant must have intentionally defrauded or attempted to defraud another in order to be convicted. If the act was not intentional, it should not result in a conviction.

While in many of these cases are often complicated and difficult to defend, we have the experience to provide you with the best legal defense and know how to utilize all legal defenses that include the lack of intent to commit the fraud crime in order to secure an acquittal. If you are a member of your family are under federal investigation for any type of fraud crime, including identity theft, you will need a law firm that will aggressively challenge the evidence against you. We will use all our resources and our background as former prosecutors to help you in every way possible.

Federal Ponzi Schemes

A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation controlled by one central figure that involves paying investors very high returns from the deposits of subsequent investors instead of paying them from the profit of a legitimate business.

So money from new investors is used to pay off the earlier investors until the whole scheme collapses. Similarly, the classic pyramid scheme involves participants who attempt to make money solely by recruiting new participants into the program.

These schemes are pitched with the promise of sky-high returns in a short period of time for doing nothing other than handing over your money and then convincing others to do the same. The money coming in from the new participants is simply used to pay off the early stage investors, but eventually the pyramid will collapse as the scheme gets too big to sustain and not enough additional investors are recruited.

These fraudulent investment operations are often conducted over the internet or email. If convicted of Ponzi schemes and/or pyramid schemes you may be facing large fines and/or imprisonment. Due to the penalties you may face for a ponzi schemes and pyramid schemes conviction, it is critical to speak to a law firm that is familiar with dealing with federal crime cases. At Eisner Gorin LLP, our attorneys will work hard to provide you with a successful defense.

Federal Business Opportunity Schemes

Work from home or other business opportunity schemes promise that individuals will earn thousands of dollars but require upfront fees ranging up to hundreds of dollars. Many times the people signing up for the work from home or other business opportunity scheme never actually receive anything in return, or they find that the materials are not what the seller warranted.

More specifically, some of these schemes advertise by saying that a small fortune can be easily earned by “working at home,” “assembling small products in your spare time,” or “stuffing envelopes.” All that is required is a small payment to get started with more info.

The problem is that the info, if it ever arrives, turns out to be worthless as the easy-money opportunities do not exist as described. The Federal Trade Commission has created 16 CFR Part 437, which is the business opportunity rule, and it requires that business opportunity sellers furnish prospective purchasers with specific information that is material to the consumer's decision as to whether to purchase a business opportunity. If convicted of a work from home or other business opportunity scheme you may be facing large fines and/or imprisonment.

Business opportunities are always being presented to consumers in California and throughout the United States. Poor investments and bad business decisions is resulting in countless allegations being filed against companies selling the business opportunity.

These allegations can tarnish the reputation of the business, causing it to fail. If your company is facing criminal charges for business opportunity fraud, it is critical to contact an experienced Los Angeles federal criminal lawyer immediately.

Federal Auction Fraud

Online auction or eBay fraud may exist in various forms. The simplest of which is when an individual orders or bids on an item online, makes the payment, and then receives nothing in the mail. Alternatively, auction or e Bay fraud may take the form of misleading descriptions, deliberate sale of defective merchandise, or sometimes even the sale of stolen merchandise. These online auction or eBay fraud schemes may also qualify as mail fraud if the mail is being used at any point in the scheme.

This includes a request that a money order be sent to pay for non-existent or undelivered auction merchandise. If convicted of auction or e Bay fraud you may be facing large fines and/or imprisonment.

Federal Online Crimes Defense Lawyers

Most often, internet fraud charges and cybercrimes are the result of a long-term investigation by federal agencies. You may be called in for questioning by people who are deliberately vague about what they're investigating. Because they know you have a lot to lose, they may try to use their power to pressure you into cooperating.

Even if they say you aren't the target, you should politely decline to speak with them until your criminal lawyer is by your side. Anything you say to law enforcement can be used against you later, so it's crucial to protect your rights now.

Your federal criminal defense attorney will help you understand what charges and consequences you're facing, decide what to do about them, and eliminate or minimize the negative consequences of being charged with an Internet offense. Call Our law offices at 877-781-1570 or fill out online contact form to request face-to-face consultation.

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Eisner Gorin LLP is committed to answering your questions about Criminal Defense law issues in Los Angeles, California.

We'll gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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