Defending Against Telemarketing Fraud Charges
Telemarketing fraud, as defined by California Business and Professions Code 17511.9, involves deceptive or fraudulent practices carried out through telemarketing calls, stating:
“any person, including, but not limited to, the seller, a salesperson, agent or representative of the seller, or an independent contractor, who willfully violates any provision of this article or who directly or indirectly employs any device, scheme, or artifice to deceive in connection with the offer or sale by any telephonic seller, or who willfully, directly, or indirectly, engages in any act, practice, or course of business which operates or would operate as a fraud or deceit upon any person in connection with a sale by any telephonic seller shall, upon conviction, be punished…”
Telemarketing fraud often includes schemes designed to trick individuals into parting with their money or personal information.
Common Defense Strategies
Defending against telemarketing fraud charges can be challenging, but there are effective strategies, including:
- Lack of intent: In some cases, defendants may not have had the intent to defraud or deceive, which can be a crucial defense.
- Mistaken identity: Establishing that you were not the person responsible for the fraudulent activity can be a powerful defense.
- Entrapment: If law enforcement or a government agency induced you to commit telemarketing fraud that you wouldn’t have committed otherwise, entrapment may be a valid defense.
- Not a salesperson: If you can establish that you were not acting as a salesperson or in a capacity covered by the statute, it can challenge the basis for the charges.
- No fraudulent act: Another defense is to argue that you did not commit the alleged fraudulent act. This may involve presenting evidence that your actions were legal and in compliance with telemarketing regulations.
Penalties and Consequences
Telemarketing fraud can lead to serious consequences. If someone intentionally breaks the rules and engages in deceptive practices during phone sales, they can face:
- Fines: Up to $10,000 for each fraudulent transaction.
- Imprisonment: Depending on the severity of the offense, they may be sentenced to time in state prison or county jail for up to one year.
- Combined penalties: In some cases, they may be subject to both fines and imprisonment.
Additionally, if a salesperson promotes products for an unregistered telephonic seller, they could be charged with a misdemeanor, which may result in:
- Imprisonment: Up to six months in the county jail.
- Fines: Up to $2,500.
- Both fines and imprisonment: These penalties can apply together.
These penalties are applied upon conviction, and they aim to deter and punish fraudulent telemarketing practices.
A conviction for telemarketing fraud can have long-lasting consequences, affecting not only your freedom but also your reputation and future opportunities. It may limit your employment prospects and make it challenging to rebuild trust.
Legal Process and Investigations
Navigating the legal process in telemarketing fraud cases involves various steps:
- Investigations: The legal journey starts with thorough investigations by law enforcement agencies and regulatory bodies. Investigative teams collect evidence related to telemarketing fraud, identify and gather information about individuals or entities involved, trace the web of connections within the operation, and assess the scale and scope of the fraud to determine the harm caused to victims.
- Charges: If there is enough evidence, charges may be filed against the accused, which marks a critical turning point in the legal process. The prosecution presents the case on behalf of the victims and the state. Legal documents outlining the charges and evidence are prepared, and the accused are informed of their rights, including the right to legal representation.
- Trial: Legal proceedings, including trials, involve the presentation of evidence and legal arguments by the prosecution and defense. The court then delivers a verdict and, if necessary, determines sentencing based on the severity of the offense and other relevant factors.
How Our Los Angeles White-Collar Crime Lawyers Can Help
At Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP, we offer comprehensive services in telemarketing fraud cases. Our experienced Los Angeles white-collar crime attorneys can assist you with the following:
- Case evaluation: We provide a thorough evaluation of your case, examining the evidence, circumstances, and potential defenses.
- Legal representation: Our attorneys will vigorously defend your rights in court, challenging evidence and presenting a strong defense strategy.
- Guidance and support: We’ll guide you through every step of the legal process, ensuring you understand your rights and options.
Protect Your Freedom with Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP
Navigating a telemarketing fraud case and determining your best defense strategy requires the assistance of a seasoned defense lawyer. The experienced Los Angeles attorneys at Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP can craft a defense tailored to your specific situation so you can face your charges with confidence.
For a free consultation, call (213) 688-0460 today.