While there are federal statutes regulating fraud, federal wire fraud and mail fraud seem to be the most pervasive and sweep into their prohibitions a large amount of conduct that can be regulated and charged federally. For example, the federal government could charge someone who used the United States mail or the wires (telephone, fax, internet) in relation to many subjects, including defrauding certain businesses. There are also specific statutes prohibiting bank fraud, health care fraud, securities fraud, computer fraud to name a few. Many of the federal statutes overlap with each other, and many can be used to charge similar conduct. For example, wire fraud could be charged in relation to a healthcare fraud matter or in relation to computer fraud. Moreover, RICO offenses can contain fraud charges as well.
Many matters can be charged both in states and by the federal government, and many times criminal matters are initiated in a state and then are taken over by the federal government. While the federal government can establish jurisdiction over a wide range of fraud matters, it seems there are certain fraud matters that appear to be strictly federal or prosecuted more often by the federal government than the states. PPP loan fraud is a popular federal crime of late, and is strictly a federal crime, since it involves a federal entity – the Small Business Association (the “SBA”). Other SBA involved frauds are centered around other federal loans such as the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (the “EIDL”).
A person might also be charged with conspiracy to commit fraud. That is when the person is alleged to have agreed with at least one other person to commit the fraud. While people may be charged under specific statutes for conspiracy, is also a federal conspiracy statute (18 USC § 371) that the government uses to charge individuals – sometimes in addition to the substantive fraud charges.
In either event, if you or a loved one are threatened or charged with a federal fraud offense, contact the federal criminal defense attorneys at LGR Law, LLC. We will fight for your rights and protect your freedom.
To discuss the federal criminal defense update or criminal law more generally, reach out to New Jersey and New York criminal defense lawyer Lorraine Gauli-Rufo at 973-239-4300 or LGR LAW for a consultation today. For more information about the firm, please visit LGR LAW’s website.