Federal agencies such as the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission are always hunting down organizations and individuals suspected of floating fraudulent initial coin offerings (ICOs) as well as committing other forms of cryptocurrency fraud.
There has been a rise in cryptocurrency investment scams, fraudulent ICOs, marketing scams, and other forms of fraudulent activities in the past few years. Many people are being duped to invest large sums of money in cryptocurrencies that do not exist.
This has intensified the federal government scrutiny of companies and individuals dealing with cryptocurrency. It has led to several charges being launched against suspects with significant fines and penalties being imposed.
Despite the fact that most banks and organizations have endorsed digital currencies such as Bitcoin, a majority of people don’t understand how they work. This has made it easy for unscrupulous individuals to scam unsuspecting customers.
There are ongoing efforts by the federal government to formulate laws that specifically target the cryptocurrency market. However, most cryptocurrency fraud cases are currently being prosecuting using laws of general applicability.
Because of the implications for the financial security industry, digital currencies, banks, and other financial institutions are always subjected to heavy statutory regulations.
People who are found culpable for violating these regulations often face charges of tax evasion or money laundering.
Are you or is your company facing federal investigations charges for cryptocurrency fraud?
For people or organizations facing charges of cryptocurrency fraud, hiring an experienced defense lawyer during the investigations is important when it comes to mitigating the risks of being indicted.
In case fraud charges have already been placed against you, you should contact a defense lawyer immediately.
However, you should ensure that the lawyer you hire is experienced or understands what cryptocurrency is – considering the fact that it is relatively a new phenomenon. You should find out if the lawyer has handled a similar case before.
The best way to protect yourself or your business is to set up up a strong defense team as early as possible. You will always be informed of what you have been accused of before the investigations commence.
In most cases you will receive a call or a letter from the Federal Investigation Bureau (FBI), Office of the Inspector General (OIG), or any other federal investigation agency.
As soon as you receive the call or letter, ensure that you inform your lawyer of the charges and honor the summons.
An experienced lawyer will know how to go about the case because they probably have handled similar cases before. All you need to do is to provide all the necessary information to your lawyer. Hiding anything might compromise the defense of your case.
Federal statutes that have potential ramifications for cryptocurrency fraud
Allegations involving cryptocurrency fraud may trigger charges under various federal statutes.
Most cryptocurrency defense lawyers handle cases for coders, business owners, investment companies, financial advisors among other individuals and entities accused of cryptocurrency allegations.
This involves charges under the following statutes:
• 18. U.S.C. 1342 – mail fraud
• 18 U.S.C. 1030 – Computer fraud and abuse
• 18 U.S.C. 1342 – Wire fraud
• 18 U.S.C. 1956 – Money laundering
• 18 U.S.C. 1346 – Bank fraud
• 18 U.SC. 1349 – Conspiracy to commit wire or mail fraud
What are the penalties for cryptocurrency charges?
The penalties and fines for people found guilty of cryptocurrency charges depend on the type of criminal activity they have committed.
Besides, there are currently no laws specifically meant to address cryptocurrency fraud – most of them are still being formulated. Penalties and fines are given depending on the statute or law the accused is being charged under.
For example, if the prosecution decides to charge a suspect under the money laundering act, then penalties and fines will be as per that statute.
Individuals and companies dealing with cryptocurrency are always at risk of being charged by the federal government for different reasons. In case you find yourself in such a situation, the best thing to do is to retain an experienced defense lawyer.
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