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Augusta Criminal Defense Blog

Federal crimes: Errors on your tax forms could be fraud

There are so many federal crimes in the United States that it is possible to commit one without even realizing you have done something wrong. Tax fraud or evasion is an example of a crime that falls in the federal jurisdiction. Unfortunately, many people living in Augusta, Georgia, may be committing tax fraud unintentionally.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recognizes that American citizens are always looking for ways to reduce the taxes they owe each year. In fact, the IRS acknowledges that certain attempts to reduce or even avoid taxes are not federal crimes. However, many hard-working citizens who have tried to reduce their tax obligations suddenly find themselves facing an audit or an investigation by the IRS.

Man convicted on fraud charges related to ATM card scam

Fraud used to be mostly matters of confidence scams and doctored accounts for businesses. Georgia has also seen its share of insurance fraud cases related to arson and other crimes. Now, the effectiveness of widespread digital networks can make fraud a matter as simple as a few clicks of a mouse.

Identity theft and the misuse of identifying accounts or documents is now a common occurrence on all parts of the Internet, and the crimes often span across jurisdictions, making prosecution difficult. As a result, many effective cases prosecuting fraud are federal cases brought by U.S. attorneys.

New legislation could bring substantial changes to federal laws

There is new legislation that is on the brink of passing which may be the most substantial new federal criminal law changes in a generation. The legislation called the First Step Act is being hailed as a critical movement to create a fairer system of justice. One of the main reasons there is optimism of this legislation being passed is there is strong bi-partisan support for it. The crux of the First Step Act will be to shorten some federal prison sentences.

4 of the most egregious white collar crimes

When it comes to white collar crimes, some cases are so egregious that they remain in the public's mind. Typically, these notable cases made national headlines or cost so many millions of dollars that they can't be easily forgotten.

Below are some crimes that are destined to be remembered for years to come:

Man sentenced for threats against schools in Charlottesville

One kind of crime that is popping up more often is threatening behavior. When a person is threatening to others, there is a chance that they could be arrested and charged.

Depending on the outlet for those threats, the individual could face federal charges for internet crimes or even hate crimes. Threatening behavior is sometimes a sign of intention, and this is why the authorities take it seriously.

White collar crime victims may be involved in the act unknowingly

White collar crimes may not seem like they hurt anyone, but even though they're not violent, they can be devastating. In white collar crimes, individuals may steal money from others, hurting their financial outlook for many years to come, if not for the rest of their lives. Sadly, many people who are victimized by white collar crimes do not recover.

There is a significant difference, though, between someone who knew they were defrauding others and those who simply did what they were told to do by their companies, superiors and management. For example, if you were given documents about stocks and told to file them, you may not have known that they were falsified documents or that you were aiding your superior in committing fraud. In another instance, if you're told to explain the paperwork to someone, you might be completely in the dark yourself about what is or is not true.

Man accused of leading drug ring sentenced to 145 years in prison

Federal drug charges are particularly impactful. They usually carry heavy penalties, which means that you're at a higher risk of going to prison and paying back large sums of money.

Take, for example, the report about a convicted drug kingpin who has been sentenced to 145 years in prison for being proven guilty of around 24 different drug-related charges. The report states that the man, a 38-year-old known as Big Hxmie and Shug, was the leader of a drug ring that was found in Georgia.

Man in possession of ricin has case dismissed in federal court

When you have to go to court, the system is designed to protect you just as much as someone who is a victim of a crime. You deserve to have your innocence preserved until you're proven to be guilty. If the prosecution or authorities make a mistake, it could be enough to have your case dismissed.

Here's an interesting news story about a man who was arrested and charged for possessing ricin in Georgia. The man, a stated white supremacist, was facing federal charges for possessing the dangerous toxin but his case was dismissed on a technicality.

Drug distribution and illegal firearm charges

Many individuals that face federal drug convictions see penalties related to possessing a narcotic with the intent to distribute the drug. Perhaps an officer searched your vehicle after a traffic stop and found distribution bags, scales and cash – all pointing to the fact that you may be involved with selling illegal drugs.

Yet the penalties rise substantially when, during the search, an officer discovers that you also possess a firearm. Having illegal narcotics and an illegal gun can significantly increase your sentences, but many drug offenders utilize a weapon for protection.

Federal charges lead to conviction of man in Georgia

Federal fraud charges can create serious problems for you. If you are convicted, it could mean spending years in prison and having hefty fines and penalties to pay. You may struggle to maintain your friendships and relationships. In all, you could truly lose everything.

That's why it's so important to fight against any allegations you face. Fraud is defined as intentional, so if you can prove that you were unaware of fraud taking place, it's one way you can help remove the blame from your shoulders.

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