There's a number of scams going on the internet right now involving dating and people who are falling prey to individuals who are posing as legitimate dating sites for individuals who are interested in meeting somebody, and then the person ends up sending some sort of money and/or depositing money in their bank account and then it turns out to be a fraudulent dating scheme.
If you find yourself being prosecuted for this particular crime, obviously you're going to want to get to a federal criminal defense attorney as fast as possible. You may have some defenses related to this crime as far as law enforcement and the federal government being able to prove that you were actually the one on the other end of the line with this individual.
Federal Criminal Investigation
These dating schemes are very prevalent in today's society and the federal government knows how to investigate them, especially if it involves the internet. Many times they will use forensic experts and they will also use other means to be able to track those individuals who are involved in these scams.
Another big factor that will determine whether the feds will get involved and how much potential federal prison time the person is looking at pursuant to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, is the amount of the loss involved. If the scam is major and it involves a number of different victims and thousands of dollars are lost then it's much more likely the feds will get involved and prosecute the case and the person will be looking at time in federal prison.
If on the other hand, it's just a one-time occurrence and it can be prosecuted in the local courts with the local authorities, then the feds will likely decline to deal with a particular case like that. Your best bet if you're being investigated for some sort of federal internet fraud related to a dating scheme or otherwise is to keep you mouth shut.
Be careful about talking on the phone or using a computer to communicate because the federal government will monitor these activities by way of wire tap evidence where they get warrants from judges to be able to listen to people's phone conversations and to be able to track their internet activity.
So, your best bet is to get to an attorney. Go over all the information with that attorney and allow that attorney to represent you and speak to the federal government and act as a buffer between you and the authorities who are investigating the case.
Also, if there is a prosecutor involved with the case, they can communicate with that individual and make whatever arrangements are necessary to defend your rights, freedom and your liberty.
Review Case Strategy with Criminal Lawyer
One crucial thing if you are a family member of a loved one who has been arrested for some sort of internet scheme or scam related to a dating website or being accused of this type of offense, you're going to want to be careful what you say to that person over the phone because the authorities can record those conversations.
Get to a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Give that attorney the information. Hire that attorney if you feel that they're a good attorney and a good fit for your loved one and then they can go meet with your loved one, talk to the prosecutors, gather information about the case so that your loved one can be properly defended in these cases.
Any type of federal custody time that is imposed against somebody who is charged with one of these internet crimes will be served at 85% and if they feel that the victim is particularly vulnerable.
Then the prosecutors will assess and argue for additional time in custody based on that fact, and of course, they're also going to look at the amount of money that is taken, in deciding how high of a sentence the prosecutors attempt to achieve.
Hedding Law Firm is a criminal defense law firm located in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles County at 16000 Ventura Blvd #1208 Encino, CA 91436. We are also located at 633 West Fifth Street Los Angeles, CA 90071. Contact us for a free case evaluation at (213) 542-0994.