NYC Access Device Fraud Lawyer
Federal Access Device Fraud Lawyer In NYC
Whenever a person engages in the fraudulent use of a credit card, debit card, or the electronic data and codes associated with such cards, the federal crime of access device fraud may be charged. Access device fraud investigations are conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Secret Service, U.S. Postal Investigation Service, and other federal law enforcement agencies. Much like other federal financial or white-collar crimes, charges of access device fraud are usually accompanied by additional charges such as conspiracy to commit this crime, identity theft, wire fraud, or bank fraud. Because a conviction for access device fraud carries with it the possibility of being sentenced up to ten or sometimes fifteen years in federal custody, you should treat an accusation for this crime with the significance that is due.
If you or a loved one are under grand jury investigation or have been arrested and charged with access device fraud in the United States District Court, it is imperative that you contact an experienced and knowledgeable white-collar defense lawyer. NYC federal access device fraud lawyer Fred Sosinsky has represented scores of individuals ensnared in federal investigations and prosecutions of access device fraud. From international “dark web” cyber-hackers to managers of so-called ATM skimming rings, over his more than 30 years in practice, Fred has successfully defended his clients accused of these crimes. With Fred in your corner, you can be sure you have a federal defense attorney that will do anything and everything he can to keep your record and reputation clean or where that is not possible, to avoid a jail sentence. Contact the top New York access device fraud lawyer Fred Sosinsky now.
What is Access Device Fraud?
A person may be charged with the federal offense of access device fraud when he or she knowingly and with intent to defraud another produces, uses, or sells one or more “counterfeit access devices” as that term is defined under the law, or uses or sells one or more “unauthorized access devices” as that term is defined, and obtains anything of value aggregating to more than $1,000 in a one year period in interstate commerce. Access device fraud charges may also be brought against a person if he or she possesses at least fifteen (15) counterfeit or unauthorized access devices with the intent to defraud. The federal access device fraud statute also prohibits any person from offering to sell or produce a fraudulent or false access device or to create a device to obtain unauthorized use of telecommunications services. Each of these violations of law is punishable by up to ten years in federal prison in addition to significant fines, restitution, and criminal forfeiture.
There are, however, additional ways in which one can commit access device fraud which carry fifteen-year prison sentence maximums. Thus, if the accused knowingly produced, sold, or possessed access device-making equipment or a “scanning receiver” as that term is defined under the law, or with intent to defraud engages in transactions with one or more access devices in order fraudulently to receive payment or anything of value aggregating to more than $1,000 in a one year period, or produces, uses, sells or possesses computer hardware or software knowing it has been configured so as to alter or modify a telecommunications instrument to permit use without authorization, they may be charged under provisions of the access device fraud statute that authorizes this increased punishment.
Federal law defines an “access device” as including any card, plate, code account information, electronic serial number, mobile identification number, personal identification number, and any equipment or other means of accessing any account that can be used to obtain money, goods, services or another thing of value. The law defines a “counterfeit access device” as any access device that is fictitious, altered, or forged. Under the law, an “unauthorized access device” is defined as an access device that has been lost, stolen, revoked, expired, or otherwise obtained with the intent to defraud.”
Sentencing for Access Device Fraud
As noted, federal law authorizes a sentence of up to ten years in federal prison for certain types of access device fraud and fifteen years for others. Although that means that a court may impose a sentence anywhere between no jail time and those statutory maximums, in practice a federal judge will be guided by a number of factors in settling upon an appropriate sentence for access device fraud convictions. Under the non-binding sentencing guidelines, a federal court will first consider the total amount of financial harm or “loss” that was caused as a result of the offense. Bear in mind that this may not be limited to the damages which an individual defendant caused or the unlawful proceeds or gain which he or she received but also the total amount of such loss caused by all of his or her co-conspirators. In addition, the court will consider the number of victims of such fraud, the role the defendant played in the overall scheme, the sophistication of the means used to commit the crime, and other aggravating factors. The court will then consider the history and character of the offender, the level of support he or she has in the community and other factors presented to mitigate the misconduct.
There are Defenses to Access Device Fraud Charges
There are a number of potential defenses to access device fraud charges that an NYC federal access device fraud lawyer can use in court; however, each defense is entirely dependent on the evidence in any given case.
First, a “good faith” belief defense may be viable if the accused held an honest and reasonable belief that they were authorized to use the card or data to obtain the funds, goods, or services at issue.
Second, a lack of intent to defraud or of knowledge that a transaction involves fraud will serve as a complete defense to these charges.
Third, there may be serious issues raised regarding the reasonable value of the item(s) claimed to have been obtained fraudulently.
Contact A Federal Access Device Fraud Lawyer In NYC
Federal crimes involving the fraudulent use of credit cards, debit cards, or any information of another person to obtain money, credit, property, or services from another are serious matters requiring serious attention. NYC federal access device fraud lawyer Fred Sosinsky is a respected leader in the criminal defense bar who has decades of experience in fighting these cases in the federal courts. Reach out to Fred today to plan your defense.