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.
A Romanian man was recently convicted on federal charges related to identity theft in the Peach State. The defendant and others used illegal devices that collect information from debit cards and made fraudulent purchases worth more than $80,000 from more than 70 accounts. Local police cooperated with the U.S. Secret Service during a seven-month investigation into the crimes, which involved the illegal devices being connected to automatic teller machines.
The convictions include access device fraud and aggravated identity theft related to the victims' account information. "Identity theft is a continuing problem that damages the credit of too many unsuspecting Georgians," said a U.S. attorney assigned to the case.
If an investigation into fraud has resulted in criminal charges, defendants must fight to maintain their innocence and rights under the Constitutions of the United States and Georgia. A good criminal defense often starts with consulting an attorney about the evidence involved and the best ways to assert innocence in court or negotiate a plea deal with prosecutors.