"Conspiracy to Defraud the United States: Understanding 18 U.S.C § 371 and Its Penalties"

Investigative Article: A Closer Look at Conspiracy Charges

Conspiracy charges are extremely serious and have the potential to ruin a person's life. The federal government takes these charges seriously and is known to pursue them aggressively. If you or someone you know is facing conspiracy charges, it's important to understand what those charges entail and what a federal criminal defense attorney can do to help. In this investigative article, we'll take a closer look at the specifics of conspiracy charges and examine a recent Arizona case that involved federal conspiracy to defraud.

What is Conspiracy to Defraud the United States?

Conspiracy to defraud the United States is a criminal offense that involves two or more people coming together to commit an unlawful act against the government or its agencies. This type of conspiracy is not limited to fraud, but can include any act that aims to interfere with the normal operations of the government. This can include acts such as tax evasion, falsifying documents, and bribery.

How Does the Law Define Conspiracy?

According to 18 U.S.C. §371, conspiracy is defined as an agreement between two or more individuals to commit an illegal act or to commit a legal act in an illegal manner. To prove conspiracy, the government must show that two or more individuals agreed to commit a crime and that at least one of them committed an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy. The government does not have to prove that the illegal act was actually carried out, only that there was a plan to do so.

How Can You Defraud the US?

There are many ways in which someone can defraud the United States. Some common examples include tax evasion, making false statements to a government agency, and embezzlement. In the recent Arizona case involving federal conspiracy to defraud, the defendants were accused of creating a fake charity in order to obtain money from donors. The money was supposed to go to help military veterans, but the defendants instead used the funds for personal expenses.

What are the Possible Penalties?

The penalties for conspiracy to defraud the United States can be severe. Depending on the specifics of the case, a person convicted of this offense can face fines, prison time, or both. The maximum penalty for this offense is five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 dollars.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between conspiracy and aiding and abetting?

Conspiracy involves two or more people coming together to plan an illegal act, while aiding and abetting involves one person helping another person to commit an illegal act.

Can you be charged with conspiracy even if you didn't personally commit the illegal act?

Yes. As mentioned earlier, the government does not have to prove that the illegal act was actually carried out, only that there was a plan to do so.

What should I do if I am facing conspiracy charges?

If you are facing conspiracy charges, it's important to speak with a federal criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. A good attorney will be able to examine the specifics of your case and help you build a viable defense.

Recent Arizona Case Involving Federal Conspiracy to Defraud

In 2019, several individuals in Arizona were charged with federal conspiracy to defraud. According to the indictment, the defendants created a fake charity called "Veterans Rideshare" in order to obtain money from donors. The money was supposed to go toward helping military veterans, but instead, the defendants used the funds for personal expenses.

The scheme was exposed when one of the defendants, a former journalist, published an article in which he claimed to have uncovered a fraud scheme involving a charity. The government later found that the charity in question was in fact Veterans Rideshare, which was run by the defendants.

Several of the defendants have already pleaded guilty to the charges, and one defendant was recently sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to pay restitution to the defrauded donors.

How a Federal Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help

If you are facing conspiracy charges, it's important to work with an experienced federal criminal defense attorney. A good attorney can examine the specifics of your case and help you build a strong defense. Some ways in which an attorney can help include:

  • Examining evidence and identifying weaknesses in the government's case
  • Filing pretrial motions to suppress evidence or have the case dismissed
  • Negotiating with prosecutors for reduced charges or plea deals
  • Representing you in court and at trial

If you or someone you know is facing conspiracy charges, it's important to seek legal counsel as soon as possible. The stakes are high, and having an experienced attorney on your side can make all the difference.

In conclusion, conspiracy charges are serious and can have far-reaching consequences. If you or someone you know is facing conspiracy charges, it's important to understand what those charges entail and how a federal criminal defense attorney can help. The recent Arizona case involving federal conspiracy to defraud is just one example of how the government pursues these charges. If you're facing conspiracy charges, don't wait - contact a federal criminal defense attorney today.

Conspiracy to Defraud the United States: 18 U.S.C § 371-Conspiracy,18