Federal Check and Credit Card Fraud Lawyer in St. Louis, MO. Nearly any unauthorized use of a check or credit card can be prosecuted, no matter the amount. While many cases are charged under state laws, check and credit card fraud are often charged federally under 18 U.S. Code § 1029. The Combs Law Group in St. Louis can help.
If you are facing these types of charges, call our federal check and credit card fraud lawyer right away at (314) 900-HELP or contact us online. Our federal criminal defense attorney can conduct a free and confidential case review regarding the specifics of your case.
How Do Federal Prosecutors Prove St. Louis Check or Credit Card Fraud Under 18 U.S. Code § 1029?
As check and credit card information has become easily accessible with modern technology, fraud charges have significantly increased. For federal prosecutors to have a case under 18 U.S. Code § 1029, they must:
- Prove that you were knowingly trying to defraud another person
- Show that the value of the assets you allegedly obtained via fraud is more than $1,000
- Demonstrate that the fraud included an interstate transaction
Due to the fact that online transactions are considered “interstate,” federal prosecutors commonly seek these charges. If you have been accused of committing check or credit card fraud, it is imperative that you retain the legal counsel of a St. Louis federal criminal defense lawyer at Combs Law Group to protect your rights. These are serious offenses, and can also include federal charges of:
These charges involve heavy penalties in a conviction, so you need a skilled and knowledgeable legal team in your corner. Call the Combs Law federal check and credit card fraud lawyers in St. Louis right away at (314) 900-HELP or contact us online.
What Are Some Examples of Federal Check and Credit Card Fraud in St. Louis?
Many people in and around St. Louis and throughout Missouri are now using advanced technology to commit federal check and credit card fraud. This includes intercepting transactions over unsecured networks, hacking devices in stores or online websites, sending “phishing” emails to check and credit card holders, and creating fake websites to get people to submit credit card information. If you are accused of any of these charges, call Combs Law Group right away at (314) 900-HELP or contact us online. Our federal check and credit card fraud lawyers in St. Louis will meet with you one-on-one to discuss the specifics of your case and build a rock-solid defense.
The most common check and credit card fraud cases our federal criminal defense attorneys in St. Louis see include using identity theft to:
- Obtain checks or credit cards in someone’s name
- Use a lost or stolen check or credit card
- Using skimmers installed on gas pumps or an ATM
- Submitting fake applications
- Creating fraudulent checks or credit cards
- Stealing mail to obtain cardholder or banking information
What Exactly Are Access Devices and What Do They Have to Do With St. Louis Check and Credit Card Fraud?
Federal credit card fraud is often referred to as access device fraud. Federal law makes it a crime to knowingly, with an intent to defraud, any of the following acts:
- Use or traffic in any counterfeit access devices
- Possess 15 or more counterfeit devices
- Use, traffic, or possess a scanning receiver
- Possess or traffic in any device making equipment
- Use, traffic, or possess modified instruments to obtain use of telecommunications services
- Use, produce, traffic, or possess hardware or software to modify an instrument to obtain telecommunications service
- Obtain anything of value $1,000 or more within a year with a counterfeit access device
- Solicit someone for offering or selling a fraudulent access device
What Are the Penalties For Federal Check and Credit Card Fraud in St. Louis?
Because every case is different, and due to varying applicable federal statutes, there are no set-in-stone penalties for St. Louis check and credit card fraud. However, conviction for a federal crime will draw heavier penalties and fines than similar cases in state courts. This is because federal offenses fall within the U.S. Sentencing Commission’s Voluntary Sentencing Guidelines.
If convicted of federal check and credit card fraud in violation of 18 U.S. Code § 1029, the penalties will range from 10 years to a maximum of 15 years in prison and a fine up to $250,000. You could also be ordered to pay restitution. However, if you also violated one of the above statutes, such as mail fraud, bank fraud, or internet fraud, you could face additional penalties. As an example, the action of depositing a bad check to defraud a financial institution, can include fines as high as $1 million and up to 30 years in prison. Also, if convicted, you will be required to forfeit the money or items illegally obtained as described under federal forfeiture laws.
How Can a Combs Law Federal Defense Attorney Help With My St. Louis Check and Credit Card Fraud Charges?
If you are facing federal charges under 18 U.S. § 1029 or any other form of check and credit card fraud, our experienced federal criminal defense lawyers based in St. Louis can use a wide range of successful strategies in order to obtain the best possible outcome. Call us now at (314) 900-HELP or reach out to us online. Of course, the specifics of every case are different, but some common defenses are:
Lack of Intent to Defraud
If you committed an unlawful act, but didn’t have a specific intent to defraud, then you have a good chance at avoiding a conviction. For instance, perhaps you were given stolen gift cards as a present, but you were unaware they were stolen. In order for the federal prosecutor to obtain a conviction, they must be able to prove you acted knowingly, willingly, and with an intent to defraud.
No Effect on Interstate or Foreign Commerce
In order to be convicted of federal check and credit card fraud, it must be connected to interstate or foreign commerce. As an example, maybe you were accused of making an online purchase using another person’s credit card, but the transaction actually occurred from an online retailer located in Missouri. While you could still face state credit card fraud charges, under MIssouri Revised Statutes § 570.130, it would not be considered a federal crime as the transaction didn’t cross state lines.
Reasonable Belief You Had Permission
We might be able to make an argument that you had a reasonable belief that you had authorization to use a check or credit card. For example, you were provided someone’s credit card to use only in an emergency situation. So, you used the credit card but failed to properly communicate with the cardholder who thought someone was fraudulently using their credit card and reported it.
Reach Out to a Federal Check and Credit Card Fraud in St. Louis | Combs Law Group
At Combs Law Group, we understand that good people get stuck in bad situations. We make it our mission to defend St. Louis residents who are facing life altering charges. We have extensive experience in federal criminal cases and deliver outstanding results for our clients.
Our St. Louis federal check and credit card fraud attorneys will gladly discuss your case with you at your earliest convenience. Call us right away at (314) 900-HELP or contact us online.