A Maryland woman was convicted on “17 counts including conspiracy, lying on a loan application and several charges of bank, wire, and securities fraud.” The woman was a licensed financial adviser who also had a weekly radio show. She started a sportswear company and convinced many people to invest in the company, promising them a 15% return on their investment. The “investors” mostly understood the investment to be a loan. The woman then used more than $20 million of the money to support her extravagant lifestyle. For example, she purchased several homes, thousands of dollars' worth of luxury goods, beauty treatments, and a $500,000 box suite at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys.
Interestingly, she also used this money to pay for hoodoo spells and ritualistic prayers in India to assist in warding off federal investigators. When she was arrested last year, investigators allegedly found mason jars labeled with the initials of U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission lawyers, as well as spells involving beef tongue and concealment—titled “Beef Tongue Shut Up Hoodoo Spell.”
Fraud in Washington State
Fraud can encompass many things. For example, the woman in the scenario above was convicted of wire fraud, securities fraud, and bank fraud. Fraud can also include:
- “Identity theft and related crimes;
- Writing bad checks (check fraud);
- Illegal possession of an ID;
- Insurance Fraud, including unemployment insurance fraud;
- Workers compensation fraud;
- Welfare fraud;
- Credit card fraud;
- Payroll fraud;
- mortgage fraud;
- bankruptcy fraud;
- securities and investment fraud.”
Fraud is considered a “white collar crime” and will typically involve deception, as well as the breach of trust or lying to people or entities. In Washington, the fraud stature specifically covers the following.
- Obtaining a signature by duress.
- Identity theft.
- Criminal impersonation in the first or second degree.
- False certification.
- False academic credentials.
Among many other areas pertaining to fraud, the woman in the scenario above (if she were in Washington) likely violated the “obtaining a signature by duress” statute which reads,
- “A person is guilty of obtaining a signature by deception or duress if by deception or duress and with intent to defraud or deprive he or she causes another person to sign or execute a written instrument.”
Obtaining a signature by duress is a class C felony, but keep in mind with the many different types of fraud that may be committed, a fraud conviction can be either a misdemeanor or a felony.
Contact the Law Offices of Steve Karimi
If you or a loved one have been arrested for fraud in the Seattle area, you need the help of an experienced defense attorney. Lawyer Steve Karimi is a top-rated criminal defense attorney in the Seattle area and is dedicated to protecting your rights. Mr. Karimi is a former prosecutor who uses his knowledge and insights into prosecution strategies to fight for the rights of the accused. Contact the Law Offices of Steve Karimi today!