Facing Federal Fraud & Economic Charges

Federal criminal law addresses a wide variety of economic crimes and fraudulent transactions. Many of these types of cases are complex and require an experienced criminal defense attorney to prepare a proper defense. The McKellar Law Firm handles defense of the following fraud-related crimes:

  • False Statements (18 U.S.C. § 1001) – Click here to learn more about false statements.
  • Money Laundering (18 U.S.C. § 1956) – Click here to learn more about money laundering.
  • Mail Fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1341) – Click here to learn more about mail fraud.
  • Embezzlement – Bank Officers (18 U.S.C. § 656) – Click here to learn more about embezzlement.
  • Bank Entries (18 U.S.C. § 1005) – Click here to learn more about false bank entries.
  • Mortgage Fraud – Loan & Credit Applications (18 U.S.C. § 1014) – Click here to learn more about mortgage fraud.
  • Bankruptcy Fraud (18 U.S.C. § 157) – Click here to learn more about bankruptcy fraud.
  • Aggravated Identity Theft (18 U.S.C. § 1028A) – Click here to learn more about Aggravated Identity Theft.
  • Fraud Related to Computers (18 U.S.C. § 1030)
    • (a) Whoever—
      • (1) having knowingly accessed a computer without authorization or exceeding authorized access, and by means of such conduct having obtained information that has been determined by the United States Government pursuant to an Executive order or statute to require protection against unauthorized disclosure for reasons of national defense or foreign relations, or any restricted data, as defined in paragraph y. of section 11 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, with reason to believe that such information so obtained could be used to the injury of the United States, or to the advantage of any foreign nation willfully communicates, delivers, transmits, or causes to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted, or attempts to communicate, deliver, transmit or cause to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted the same to any person not entitled to receive it, or willfully retains the same and fails to deliver it to the officer or employee of the United States entitled to receive it;
      • (2) intentionally accesses a computer without authorization or exceeds authorized access, and thereby obtains—
        • (A) information contained in a financial record of a financial institution, or of a card issuer as defined in section 1602(n) of title 15, or contained in a file of a consumer reporting agency on a consumer, as such terms are defined in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.);
        • (B) information from any department or agency of the United States; or
        • (C) information from any protected computer;
      • (3) intentionally, without authorization to access any nonpublic computer of a department or agency of the United States, accesses such a computer of that department or agency that is exclusively for the use of the Government of the United States or, in the case of a computer not exclusively for such use, is used by or for the Government of the United States and such conduct affects that use by or for the Government of the United States;
      • (4) knowingly and with intent to defraud, accesses a protected computer without authorization, or exceeds authorized access, and by means of such conduct furthers the intended fraud and obtains anything of value, unless the object of the fraud and the thing obtained consists only of the use of the computer and the value of such use is not more than $5,000 in any 1-year period;
      • (5)(A) knowingly causes the transmission of a program, information, code, or command, and as a result of such conduct, intentionally causes damage without authorization, to a protected computer;
        • (B) intentionally accesses a protected computer without authorization, and as a result of such conduct, recklessly causes damage; or
        • (C) intentionally accesses a protected computer without authorization, and as a result of such conduct, causes damage and loss.
      • (6) knowingly and with intent to defraud traffics (as defined in section 1029) in any password or similar information through which a computer may be accessed without authorization, if—
        • (A) such trafficking affects interstate or foreign commerce; or
        • (B) such computer is used by or for the Government of the United States;
      • (7) with intent to extort from any person any money or other thing of value, transmits in interstate or foreign commerce any communication containing any—
        • (A) threat to cause damage to a protected computer;
        • (B) threat to obtain information from a protected computer without authorization or in excess of authorization or to impair the confidentiality of information obtained from a protected computer without authorization or by exceeding authorized access; or
        • (C) demand or request for money or other thing of value in relation to damage to a protected computer, where such damage was caused to facilitate the extortion;
    • shall be punished as provided in subsection (c) of this section.
  • Major Fraud Against the United States (18 U.S.C. § 1031)
    • Whoever knowingly executes, or attempts to execute, any scheme or artifice with the intent—
      • (1) to defraud the United States; or
      • (2) to obtain money or property by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises,
    • in any grant, contract, subcontract, subsidy, loan, guarantee, insurance, or other form of Federal assistance, including through the Troubled Asset Relief Program, an economic stimulus, recovery or rescue plan provided by the Government, or the Government’s purchase of any troubled asset as defined in the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, or in any procurement of property or services as a prime contractor with the United States or as a subcontractor or supplier on a contract in which there is a prime contract with the United States, if the value of such grant, contract, subcontract, subsidy, loan, guarantee, insurance, or other form of Federal assistance, or any constituent part thereof, is $1,000,000 or more shall, subject to the applicability of subsection (c) of this section, be fined not more than $1,000,000, or imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both.
  • Insurance Fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1033)
    • (a)(1) Whoever is engaged in the business of insurance whose activities affect interstate commerce and knowingly, with the intent to deceive, makes any false material statement or report or willfully and materially overvalues any land, property or security—
      • (A) in connection with any financial reports or documents presented to any insurance regulatory official or agency or an agent or examiner appointed by such official or agency to examine the affairs of such person, and
      • (B) for the purpose of influencing the actions of such official or agency or such an appointed agent or examiner,
    • shall be punished as provided in paragraph (2).
    • (2) The punishment for an offense under paragraph (1) is a fine as established under this title or imprisonment for not more than 10 years, or both, except that the term of imprisonment shall be not more than 15 years if the statement or report or overvaluing of land, property, or security jeopardized the safety and soundness of an insurer and was a significant cause of such insurer being placed in conservation, rehabilitation, or liquidation by an appropriate court.(
    • (b)(1) Whoever—
      • (A) acting as, or being an officer, director, agent, or employee of, any person engaged in the business of insurance whose activities affect interstate commerce, or
      • (B) is engaged in the business of insurance whose activities affect interstate commerce or is involved (other than as an insured or beneficiary under a policy of insurance) in a transaction relating to the conduct of affairs of such a business,
    • willfully embezzles, abstracts, purloins, or misappropriates any of the moneys, funds, premiums, credits, or other property of such person so engaged shall be punished as provided in paragraph (2).
    • (2) The punishment for an offense under paragraph (1) is a fine as provided under this title or imprisonment for not more than 10 years, or both, except that if such embezzlement, abstraction, purloining, or misappropriation described in paragraph (1) jeopardized the safety and soundness of an insurer and was a significant cause of such insurer being placed in conservation, rehabilitation, or liquidation by an appropriate court, such imprisonment shall be not more than 15 years. If the amount or value so embezzled, abstracted, purloined, or misappropriated does not exceed $5,000, whoever violates paragraph (1) shall be fined as provided in this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.
    • (c)(1) Whoever is engaged in the business of insurance and whose activities affect interstate commerce or is involved (other than as an insured or beneficiary under a policy of insurance) in a transaction relating to the conduct of affairs of such a business, knowingly makes any false entry of material fact in any book, report, or statement of such person engaged in the business of insurance with intent to deceive any person, including any officer, employee, or agent of such person engaged in the business of insurance, any insurance regulatory official or agency, or any agent or examiner appointed by such official or agency to examine the affairs of such person, about the financial condition or solvency of such business shall be punished as provided in paragraph (2).
    • (2) The punishment for an offense under paragraph (1) is a fine as provided under this title or imprisonment for not more than 10 years, or both, except that if the false entry in any book, report, or statement of such person jeopardized the safety and soundness of an insurer and was a significant cause of such insurer being placed in conservation, rehabilitation, or liquidation by an appropriate court, such imprisonment shall be not more than 15 years.
    • (d) Whoever, by threats or force or by any threatening letter or communication, corruptly influences, obstructs, or impedes or endeavors corruptly to influence, obstruct, or impede the due and proper administration of the law under which any proceeding involving the business of insurance whose activities affect interstate commerce is pending before any insurance regulatory official or agency or any agent or examiner appointed by such official or agency to examine the affairs of a person engaged in the business of insurance whose activities affect interstate commerce, shall be fined as provided in this title or imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both.
  • False Statements – Health Care (18 U.S.C. § 1035)
    • Whoever, in any matter involving a health care benefit program, knowingly and willfully—
      • (1) falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact; or
      • (2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statements or representations, or makes or uses any materially false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry,
    • in connection with the delivery of or payment for health care benefits, items, or services, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.
  • Fraud – Electronic Mail (18 U.S.C. § 1037)
    • Whoever, in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, knowingly—
      • (1) accesses a protected computer without authorization, and intentionally initiates the transmission of multiple commercial electronic mail messages from or through such computer,
      • (2) uses a protected computer to relay or retransmit multiple commercial electronic mail messages, with the intent to deceive or mislead recipients, or any Internet access service, as to the origin of such messages,
      • (3) materially falsifies header information in multiple commercial electronic mail messages and intentionally initiates the transmission of such messages,
      • (4) registers, using information that materially falsifies the identity of the actual registrant, for five or more electronic mail accounts or online user accounts or two or more domain names, and intentionally initiates the transmission of multiple commercial electronic mail messages from any combination of such accounts or domain names, or
      • (5) falsely represents oneself to be the registrant or the legitimate successor in interest to the registrant of 5 or more Internet Protocol addresses, and intentionally initiates the transmission of multiple commercial electronic mail messages from such addresses, or conspires to do so, shall be punished as provided in subsection (b).
    • Penalties.–The punishment for an offense under subsection (a) is—
      • (1) a fine under this title, imprisonment for not more than 5 years, or both, if—
        • (A) the offense is committed in furtherance of any felony under the laws of the United States or of any State; or
        • (B) the defendant has previously been convicted under this section or section 1030, or under the law of any State for conduct involving the transmission of multiple commercial electronic mail messages or unauthorized access to a computer system;
      • (2) a fine under this title, imprisonment for not more than 3 years, or both, if—
        • (A) the offense is an offense under subsection (a)(1);
        • (B) the offense is an offense under subsection (a)(4) and involved 20 or more falsified electronic mail or online user account registrations, or 10 or more falsified domain name registrations;
        • (C) the volume of electronic mail messages transmitted in furtherance of the offense exceeded 2,500 during any 24-hour period, 25,000 during any 30-day period, or 250,000 during any 1-year period;
        • (D) the offense caused loss to one or more persons aggregating $5,000 or more in value during any 1-year period;
        • (E) as a result of the offense any individual committing the offense obtained anything of value aggregating $5,000 or more during any 1-year period; or
        • (F) the offense was undertaken by the defendant in concert with three or more other persons with respect to whom the defendant occupied a position of organizer or leader; and
      • (3) a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than 1 year, or both, in any other case.
    • Forfeiture.—
      • (1) In general.–The court, in imposing sentence on a person who is convicted of an offense under this section, shall order that the defendant forfeit to the United States—
        • (A) any property, real or personal, constituting or traceable to gross proceeds obtained from such offense; and
        • (B) any equipment, software, or other technology used or intended to be used to commit or to facilitate the commission of such offense.
  • Honest Services (18 U.S.C. § 1346)
    • The term "honest services fraud" comes from 18 U.S.C. § 1346, which states, "For the purposes of this chapter, the term ‘scheme or artifice to defraud’ includes a scheme or artifice to deprive another of the intangible right of honest services."

If you have been charged with or are being investigated for any of the above-referenced economic and fraud offenses, please contact the federal criminal defense lawyers at The McKellar Law Firm today at 865-566-0125 for a free consultation.

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If you have been charged with or are being investigated for any of the economic and fraud offenses referenced above, please don't hesitate to contact McKellar & Easter, Attorneys at Law. We have experience with all types of federal cases, including those concerning fraud and economic offenses. We can help you.

call 865-566-0125 or send us an email to schedule a free initial telephone consultation with a criminal defense attorney at our firm. Appointments are available at any of our three offices: Knoxville, Tennessee; Nashville, Tennessee; and Atlanta, Georgia. We accept credit cards.