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What is an advanced fee scheme?

The Internet has revolutionized the way we do business. Though this has been a major improvement for our economy, it has also caused many complications in several Californians' personal lives. Far too often, those trying to conduct business online find themselves facing criminal accusations. When allegations arise, the accused individual needs to fight back to avoid what could be life-altering penalties.

There are several types of Internet crimes with which an individual may be charged. This week, we will look at the advance fee scheme. Here, an individual solicits payment from another with the promise that something of greater value will be given in return, all arranged over the Internet. The particulars of this type of scheme are wide-ranging, as nearly an unlimited amount of scenarios can be conjured. It may involve lotteries, investments, newly discovered funds, or the paying of a finder's fee in exchange for the promise of financing for a large project.

Being accused of a computer crime like an advance fee scheme could spell trouble. Aggressive investigators and thorough prosecutors may scour all the facts, evidence, and witnesses they can find in an effort to put an individual behind bars. Failing to adequately protect one's self from these efforts could be disastrous, sending the accused to prison for years and forcing him or her to pay significant fines.

But what can one do if faced with such allegations? He or she could start forming a legal defense strategy. When it comes to an advance fee scheme, he or she may be able to punch holes in the prosecution's case by showing that he or she did not send the communications arranging the criminal activity or that there was no intent to defraud. That may sound simple enough, but the complex legal system can render these defenses difficult. For this reason, dedicated California defense attorneys stand ready to help.

Source: FBI, "Common Fraud Schemes," accessed on June 19, 2015

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