Federal authorities charge businessman with wire fraud

On behalf of The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C. posted in Fraud on Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Criminal investigations by federal authorities can be rather complex. In many cases, federal investigators are not targeting one individual but rather a group of conspirators or a series of crimes when dealing with white collar crimes. Undercover tactics and in-depth investigation may lead the authorities to a completely different target than originally anticipated.

With the recent filing of federal wire fraud charge in Missouri, just such a case recently came into the public eye. An investigation began in 2010 when the U.S Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives started a probe on a Missouri businessman. Although the connection is unclear from the reports, at some point during the investigation the focus shifted to another suspect who was located on the other side of the country.

Prosecutors based in Missouri allege that a business owner in upstate New York purchased $350,000 worth of untaxed cigarettes from an undercover ATF agent. The first delivery of alleged contraband took place in late 2011, while a more recent attempt to acquire more of the untaxed product occurred in July 2012. In the more recent exchange, the agent allegedly informed the businessman during a phone call that the product was stolen by describing it as if it had been found on the side of the road.

Recently, federal agents performed a raid on the man’s business. The man now faces a federal charge of wire fraud, which is broad charge that encompasses any scheme that takes place with the help of interstate communication devices such as a computer or telephone.

Of course, a criminal charge like the one in this case is not a sign of guilt. To his credit, the man has noted his intention to defend himself. While any criminal charge can feel like a huge setback, an experienced defense attorney can review all elements of a case to ensure those accused of such crimes can protect their name and reputation.

Source: The Buffalo News, “Seneca businessman charged in contraband cigarette case,” Dan Herbeck, Sept. 28, 2012