You have probably been hearing a lot about cryptocurrency in the news lately. Cryptocurrency is digital currency that can be used to buy, sell or trade items.
The main different between cryptocurrency and traditional currency is that cryptocurrency is not maintained by a centralized authority, such as a government. Bitcoin is a common cryptocurrency with which most people are familiar.
The alleged scheme
Recently, a Sugar Land man was accused of allegedly running a cryptocurrency scam. The 36-year-old man was indicted on 10 counts, including identity theft, money laundering and wire fraud.
The indictment alleges that the man pretended to have power of attorney over an individual to gain access to their checking account, and then arranging for funds to be wired out of the account.
After gaining access to the funds, the man is said to have converted them to bitcoin and shifting them among different cryptocurrency exchanges. The indictment also claims he opened additional bank accounts in the alleged victim’s name.
To obtain a conviction on crimes such as these, the prosecution must prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. They must have direct evidence that proves every element of each crime charged.
There are potential defenses to these types of crimes. A key element of crimes involving fraud is intent.
This means the prosecution must prove that the accused man intended to steal the alleged victim’s identity and engage in the fraudulent actions.
Lack of intent is a potential defense. Lack of intent in this case would mean that the man acted in good faith and did not intend to defraud his alleged victim.
Why a strong defense is necessary
Penalties for these types of crimes are serious and can include major fines and prison time. Everyone accused of a crime has legal rights, including the right to a defense. Learning about your options and potential defenses if you are accused of a crime is crucial.