Telemarketing Fraud Defense
Telemarketing fraud is a serious crime, and can include both large fines and prison time if you are not properly represented by an attorney. Defined as a “white collar” crime, telemarketing fraud occurs during any type of scheme that involves the criminal communicating with the potential victim on the phone, according to Cornell Law. As such, many illegal acts fall under this broad term. A common example of telemarketing fraud is impersonating an institution and asking for a victim’s personal information, such as their credit card information. Telemarketing fraud may be one of many offenses charged against a defendant, and it is important to work with an attorney that has a full understanding of telemarketing fraud as well as the other criminal offenses that you have been charged with.
The Two Necessary Elements to Interstate Telemarketing Fraud
When tried federally, telemarketing fraud charges are often part of other types of fraud charges, such as wire or mail fraud. Federal prosecutors pursue telemarketing fraud very seriously, particularly when the alleged victim is a senior citizen. In order for federal prosecutors to convict a defendant with telemarketing fraud, they must prove that the defendant:
- Used a scheme to intentionally commit fraud; and
- Interstate wire communication was used during the fraudulent scheme.
Telemarketing Fraud Under Florida Chapter 817
Dozens of different types of fraud are prohibited under Florida statute Chapter 817. Any type of fraud that uses a telephone can be prosecuted under this statute. These offenses range from misdemeanors all the way up to first degree felonies, and include, though are not limited, to the following types of fraud:
- Making a false invoice to defraud an insurer;
- Making a false statement to obtain property or credit;
- Obtaining property by impersonation;
- False entries in books of business entity;
- Obtaining property by fraudulent promise to furnish inside information;
- Wrongful use of city name;
- Issuing stock or obligation of corporation beyond authorized amount; and
- Many others.
The Florida Telemarketing Act
Under the Florida Telemarketing Act, telemarketers must be licensed by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Telemarketing salespeople who are not licensed face a third degree felony, as do salespeople who falsify a license or employers who hire a salesperson without a license. A third degree felony is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and five years in prison.
Robocalls and New Fines for Companies
Under the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence ACT (TRACED Act), companies can now be fined up to $10,000 per robocall for knowingly violating federal rules. Nearly 50 billion robocalls were made in 2019, according to CNN. This recently enacted law is part of the Federal Communications Commission’s broader goal of putting an end to robocalls. However, there is not a specific law that makes robocalling a criminal act.
Call Our Tampa White Collar Crime Lawyers Today
Whether you have been charged with wire fraud, mail fraud, and/or telemarketing fraud, you need to contact an experienced defense attorney today. Call the Tampa federal & state crime attorneys at Goudie & Kohn, P.A. today at 813-428-8504 to schedule a free consultation.