As an experienced Columbus, Ohio Federal Defense Attorney, I can share that the federal government investigates crimes occurring all over the country, including crimes which involve people living right here in Columbus and throughout Central Ohio. These investigations include drug conspiracies, fraud, cyber crimes, obstruction of justice, and more.
Witnesses who are called in to testify to federal agents can face serious federal felonies if they lie during an interview or delete subpoenaed emails. They can also face prosecution for obstruction of justice.
An experienced federal attorney will advise a client so he/she is in the best possible position.
If you are involved in a federal investigation, the responses you give to investigators (if any) can directly relate to any impending charges. Time is of the essence.
This is why it is important to seek out the best federal criminal defense attorney in Columbus, Ohio and rely on their experience to navigate the many twists and turns that naturally develop during a federal investigation.
If you are under federal investigation, or a potential witness for one, it is your right to hire an experienced federal defense attorney immediately and prior to meeting with any federal agents on the case. Each case is unique, and only experienced counsel can advise you according to your unique situation.
Everyone is faced with tough decisions in life, and it’s easy for that “little white lie” or “something everyone does” to turn into serious federal charges. Here is a list of common offenses that you may or may not have realized are federal crimes.
Cyber crime and computer fraud crimes have harsh sentencing guidelines with many enhancements that recommend lengthy prison sentences. The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) generally prohibits anyone from “hacking” into a computer system to obtain information for fraudulent purposes.
From a penalty perspective, federal criminal law makes no distinction between possession and dealing/trafficking of drugs. The United States Sentencing Guidelines (The Guidelines) control federal sentencing and base the range of incarceration on the total amount of drug sold along with the offender’s criminal history.
Bank fraud occurs when a person makes material false statements to obtain a loan from a bank for a venture such as business or real estate. Bank secrecy requires U.S. financial institutions to report suspected money laundering and fraud. Banks must report customer transactions of more than $10,000 in cash within 24 hours (as a result of a single transaction or as a result of two or more related transactions).
Mortgage fraud occurs when a person makes “any material misstatement, misrepresentation or omission relied upon by a lender to fund, purchase or insure a loan.” This is when people submit false documents which enhance their income or net worth in order to ensure that a loan is procured. Submitting false information which a lender relies upon can result in a violation of federal law.
Tax fraud occurs when an individual or business attempts to limit their amount of tax liability by intentionally falsifying information on a tax return.
Securities fraud involves providing misleading information to investors to make financial decisions. It can be committed by an individual or a business organization. Securities fraud can be conducted through Ponzi schemes, pyramid schemes, broker embezzlements, hedge fund related frauds, and late day trading. Activities typically include providing false or misleading information, withholding key information or acting on inside information.
Individuals who are prohibited from legally purchasing firearms and obtain firearms through straw purchases are committing fraud. A straw purchase occurs when a buyer of a firearm fraudulently uses another person to complete the requisite paperwork for the purchase through a legitimate firearms dealer. By intentionally buying firearms for someone else, straw purchasers are able to circumvent traditional background checks and secure weapons for buyers by unlawful means.
Obstruction of justice is where threat or force is used to influence, obstruct, or impede the due process of justice during a criminal investigation or proceeding. It includes acts such as: intimidating witnesses, tampering with evidence, or assisting in the cover-up of a crime. A person obstructing justice must have knowledge of an investigation or proceeding and attempt to influence its outcome.
Immigration fraud is when a person intentionally provides material misrepresentations on an application or uses another’s identity to receive benefits. This could result in a lifetime ban on receiving immigration benefits even when otherwise qualified for residency or a visa. Likewise, some forms of immigration fraud can lead to federal imprisonment and deportation.
Federal wire fraud scams take place over interstate wires and include: telemarketing fraud, phishing, or spam related schemes. These are very broad in scope and can form through telephone calls, electronic communication on the internet, or through television with the intent to defraud another.
Forfeitures can occur in federal or state court and can be criminal or civil in nature.
Forfeitures are often called “policing for profit” (especially civil asset forfeiture) because the practice is a mechanism for police to pad their coffers with funds generated from property and monies confiscated. In some instances, police will confiscate and try to forfeit a person’s property/cash with nothing more than the suspicion that said person might be associated with a crime.
All federal crimes should be taken seriously. Turn to an experienced federal attorney for step by step guidance through federal investigations.
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