Sentence Handed Down for Newark, DE Man in Fraud Scheme
A Newark, DE man was recently sentenced to one year and a day for his involvement in a money laundering scheme that benefited him and his wife in the amount of $6.1 million, according to a report from online news source Delaware Online. The wife was the ringleader in the scam, as she would create false payment requests to vendors of the financial services company where she worked. She would authorize payments via electronic funds transfers, but to her own personal account instead of the vendors. Her husband then made numerous transfers to his own account, in amounts of less than $10,000 so as to not attract suspicion. If you’re facing similar charges due to use of technology to commit a crime like fraud, you’ll need an experienced computer crimes defense lawyer to fight for your rights.
Summary of Delaware Computer Crimes
There are many offenses that fall under computer crimes, but some common types include hacking, money laundering, unauthorized access, theft or interruption of services, and identity theft. Under Delaware law, the nature of the crime depends upon the amount of damage caused by the fraudulent activity:
- If the damages are $500 or less, the offense is a Class A Misdemeanor. A conviction can lead to a sentence of one year in prison, plus fines and possible order of restitution to pay back the funds.
- Felony charges apply as the amount of damages increases:
- Class G Felony for damages in the amount of $500-$999, punishable by up to two years’ incarceration;
- Class F Felony when damages range $1,000-$4,999, which may include a sentence of up to three years in prison;
- Class E Felony for damages from $5,000-$9,999, carrying penalties of a maximum of five years prison time; and,
- Class D Felony when damages exceed $10,000, punishable by a maximum of eight years’ incarceration.
Felonies also include the possibility of a fine, as well as restitution to the damaged party.
Defenses to Computer Fraud
In many cases, a defendant has defenses to computer crimes and fraud, which may beat the charges entirely – or provide leverage in plea bargain negotiations. They include:
- Lack of Intent: Computer fraud requires proof of the intent to deceive a person; without this specific intent, there is no crime.
- Lack of a Misleading Statement: In fraud cases, there must be a false or misleading statement that relates to an existing fact. A statement that’s not misleading, or which amounts to an opinion or statement about the future, may not be enough to convict.
Trust a Skilled Computer Crimes Defense Attorney
Computer crimes are quite complicated due to the complex technology involved, but that doesn’t change the burden of a prosecuting attorney: You’re innocent until proven guilty and are entitled to your day in court. Your chances of a favorable result greatly improve if you have a knowledgeable lawyer on your side, especially one with specific experience in defending against computer crimes charges. If you have questions about your situation, please contact the offices of Michael W. Modica in Wilmington, DE. We can schedule a free, no-obligations consultation to discuss your options.