When a person is accused of deceiving a person or entity for their own personal gain, they may face fraudcharges. A Virginia woman was charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud for her role in a $5 million fraud scheme. The woman apparently told multiple alleged victims that she needed money to pay for healthcare software, supposedly bought out of escrow in Austria. Prosecutors say the woman used the money to buy luxury items and travel. She is accused of spending about $1 million on shopping at stores like Chanel and Gucci, and another $1 million on luxury travel.
One of the alleged victims was a 71-year-old woman with cancer who made two wire payments for a total of $95,000. The woman facing charges apparently got an attorney to create documents to make the payments seem legal.
If convicted, the alleged perpetrator could spend up to 20 years in prison. The police are still asking for other possible victims to come forward.
White collar crimes, such as fraud or conspiracy to commit fraud, can result in serious consequences, including jail time. Generally, prosecutors must establish guilt by proving that the accused intended on committing the crime in question. However, proving intent can be a challenge in many cases, particularly when the defendant works with an experienced attorney to form a strong defense against the charges. For example, many fraud charges are dropped due to insufficient evidence. The prosecutors have the burden of proof, meaning that they have to bring enough evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If the defense can poke holes in their evidence, or show that there is a lack of evidence, the prosecution may not have much of a case. If a person is facing charges involving fraud, they may benefit from speaking to a criminal defense attorney in Virginia.
Source: McLean Patch, “Elderly McLean Resident With Cancer a Victim Of Fraud,” Emily Leayman, Feb. 16, 2018