Fraud often violates both state and federal laws. However, the federal government can only bring fraud charges if the alleged conduct meets specific criteria. Federal fraud charges usually come about when the offense involves interstate communication, such as the internet, cellular networks, or even the post office.
If you were arrested by federal authorities, a Lubbock federal fraud lawyer may be able to help. A skilled defense attorney could explain how the federal laws apply to your case, identify realistic goals, and to fight for those goals in court.
The Core Concept of Fraud
Fraud involves actions that are designed to trick others out of their property. Not only is this illegal from a criminal law standpoint, but fraud is also a civil cause of action that may allow an alleged victim to seek monetary damages. For example, advertising services, collecting a fee, and then failing to provide those services is a crime. However, only specialized versions of fraud involve U.S. law.
When is Fraud a Federal Offense?
Fraud becomes a federal offense in one of two ways. The most direct concerns allegations of defrauding the federal government itself. For example, 26 U.S.C. §7206 states that it is illegal for any person or corporation to avoid paying taxes or concealing assets for the purpose of tax valuation.
Fraud also becomes a federal matter if the defendant uses specific means to commit the alleged act. For example, if the defendant uses a newspaper to advertise their fraud, this is likely a state matter.
Additionally, federal laws prohibit the use of an interstate communications system to perpetuate a crime. Specifically, 18 U.S.C. §1341 criminalizes the use of the U.S. Postal Service to aid in committing a fraud. If a defendant mails flyers to potential targets, this may lead to federal mail fraud charges.
Other examples of fraud committed using communication systems include:
- Wire fraud
- Computer fraud
- Telephone fraud
Federal charges are serious matters. A conviction for any of these offenses can result in the payment of heavy fines and a lengthy prison sentence. Because the penalties can be harsh, people facing any type of federal fraud charge need to take aggressive steps to protect themselves. A Lubbock federal fraud lawyer could help.
A Lubbock Federal Fraud Lawyer Could Be Your Advocate
Allegations of fraud can be confusing and disorienting. You may be wondering how an apparent miscommunication in business resulted in criminal charges, and you may be unsure why the federal rather than state government is involved. A Lubbock federal fraud lawyer may be able to provide you with answers and could fight to protect your freedom.
Whether these alleged offenses include defrauding of the government or involve the use of an interstate communication system, you could face heavy fines and lengthy prison sentences. A skilled defense attorney could help protect you at every step, from arraignment to a final trial, and protect your Constitutional rights.