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Posts by: David

What are Fraudulent Schemes in Arizona?

In the Phoenix area or anywhere else in the state of Arizona, as per A.R.S. §13-2310, the crime of fraudulent schemes is committed when an individual creates a scheme or artifice to defraud, which involves the attempt to defraud knowingly and when they receive a benefit as a result. A scheme or artifice to defraud means that a person intended to gain an unfair benefit or that another person was deprived of the right of honest services. For a defendant to be convicted of this crime, it is not necessary that the individual who was defrauded actually relied on said fraud.

Here is a short video where David Cantor explains Fraudulent Schemes in Arizona:

Punishment for Fraudulent Schemes Conviction

If you are convicted of a first offense fraudulent scheme, it is considered a class 2 felony. The punishment for such a conviction includes probation with zero days to up to one year in jail or a prison sentence ranging anywhere from three to 12.5 years. With one prior conviction, the prison only term ranges from four and one half to 23.25 years of incarceration. If the individual has two prior convictions, the prison sentence can range anywhere from 10.5 to 35 years of time served.

If the monetary amount the individual received is $100,000 or greater, they would not receive probation and the punishment of prison is instituted. However, a skilled defense attorney would strive to get you the minimum sentence instead of the maximum.

Defenses to Fraudulent Schemes in Arizona

There are several different tactics a skilled defense attorney can take toward defending an individual who is charged with the crime of fraudulent schemes in Arizona. Generally speaking, the key to a successful defense involves the lawyer showing that the defendant never meant to defraud anyone and did not knowingly do so. To accomplish this, the attorney must present evidence that shows that the individual never created a scheme or artifice to obtain a benefit in a fraudulent manner from another person. In addition, it has to be proven that any benefit the defendant did receive was either through the consent of the so called victim or via mutual understanding between the two individuals. A third option is to prove that the defendant never actually received any benefit. Many times, a person may be accused of fraudulent schemes by a dishonest employer. For example, a person may be informed that they can pay for personal expenses with company checks as a bonus and that the employer can write it off on taxes. However, when or if the employment relationship sours or there are tax issues, the employer turns around and accuses the employee of embezzlement.

Other possible defenses include violation of Miranda rights where an individual was not read their rights when arrested, denial of right to counsel, meaning the individual asked to speak to an attorney but was not granted that right, that the police coerced them to falsely confess and forensic flaws during the investigation.

If you have been suspected of Fraudulent Schemes in Arizona and would like to speak with an attorney, please give us a call at (602) 307-0808 to schedule a free consultation. If you would like, you can also send us an email and we’ll contact you back as soon as possible. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

The Dangers of File Sharing and Peer to Peer Networks

File sharing has been a big part of the counter-culture of legal and illegal music and movie downloads in the United States. Many file sharing programs that allowed the free flow of copyrighted files like Limewire, Napster, Bearshare, Frostwire, and the like have long been shut down by the U.S. Government (or switched their business models), but new software springs up all the time. For example, as soon as Limewire was shut down, Frostwire came out and today the most prevelant Peer to Peer software of today is bit Torrent. The cycle keeps repeating as bit torrent sites like The Pirate Bay, Demonoid, and others have faced government seizures of their physical servers located in other countries. The government may not be able to completely shut down all of the file-sharing software as it continues to morph into different models that make it undetectable. Many people praise these programs as means to download and own files for free that they would otherwise have to pay for, but what these people don’t realize is the inherent danger of downloading files from anonymous sources and sharing the same files out to strangers: namely, child pornography.

Helpful Link > Click the following links to view our Child Pornography Case Victories and view all of our Arizona Sex Crime Victories.

Here is a graphic showing the old way file sharing networks worked by each user connecting through a centralized server which is how the government was able to stop them, by legally choking off the central server:

(Images Courtesy of Vuze.com)

File Sharing Networks

And here is a graphic showing bit Torrent Peer to Peer networks where the user downloads and opens a torrent file which then connects the user to the peers who are seeding the files:

Peer to Peer Networks

One of the most important issues among the file sharing community in recent years has been the prosecutions relating to the possession and distribution of child pornography. Many of the defendants in these cases said that they were not even aware of the images that were stored on their computers. Images of child porn can be downloaded to your computer through a series of Trojan horses or by blindly downloading an entire directory that is shared with you through one of these peer to peer services. One common method of sharing child porn is the intentional mislabeling of filenames. For example, you may download a video named “Die Hard” thinking that you are getting a movie about Bruce Willis. Upon download, you might open the file and instead of finding a movie you find that it is actually hundreds or thousands of images of child pornography. Images of child porn are sometimes inserted into otherwise normal video files and may even go unnoticed by the person downloading the file. This example proves that you cannot be sure what is actually contained in the files you are downloading, which increases the risk of using any peer to peer file sharing software or methods. Remember, there is no file certification process since most of these files (movies, ebooks, software, etc) are being downloaded and shared illegally.

The most common way people are convicted of possession of child pornography, is by their permanent storage on your hard drive even after deleting it in several locations. With file sharing programs, the downloaded files go automatically into two folders: “Saved” and “Shared”. A third folder is created for “Incomplete or Temp Files” that a lot of people are unaware of. Files are labeled incomplete when they are deleted halfway through. You may not even be able to open these files, but the government can, and will attempt to prosecute and convict you for the possession of illegal images of children regardless of the folder they reside in.

The second charge of distribution of child pornography comes when you allow the program to share your files with other users. You may be doing this unknowingly as most file-sharing programs select this sharing option as a default setting. Even if you are unaware that the files you are sharing contain child porn, this act of sharing constitutes distribution.

So how does law enforcement track the child porn files? The government tracks files and images of child porn by looking at hash values. A hash value is the number of pixels a file contains. The government and law enforcement often knows the hash value of popular or commonly-shared child porn images. Any time that file is shared or downloaded; the government is alerted to the IP address of the user. They thereby obtain a search warrant and go about finding said files on your computer, upon which they arrest the user.

There are conspiracy theories out there that the government uses images of child porn to set people up for conviction. People use this to explain the surge of conviction among political rivals and other important people in society. This ruins their reputation and labels them a sex offender for the rest of their lives. Though this rumor does not have much traction, it is wise to avoid the possibility altogether by abstaining from P2P file sharing sites.

Here is a video David Michael Cantor made when Limewire was in the news in Oct 2010:

Here is another video where David Michael Cantor explains the dangers of file sharing:

Every state in the US has laws regarding the possession and distribution of child pornography. For example, here in Arizona the law is A.R.S §13-3553 “Sexual Exploitation of a Minor” (i.e. “Child Pornography”) and it is a class two (2) felony.  In Arizona, the minimum prison term is 10 years per image, if convicted. If you are facing child pornography charges, it’s a good idea to find yourself a defense attorney who has experience with these types of cases and also works with a good computer forensics expert.

If you have legal questions about Sexual Exploitation of a Minor and Child Pornography possession and distribution, please give our office a call at (602) 307-0808. If you are in the pre-charge phase or have already been charged, please call us for a free case review. The free consultation will last about 30 minutes and one of our defense attorneys will give you their professional opinion with your case.

Waste Management Phoenix Open 2014

The Waste Management Phoenix Open 2014 has officially started and is in full swing!

If you are planning on going to the Waste Management Open 2014 and drinking there, make sure you take a cab there and a cab home.  There is a new driving service App called UBER, which will pick you up close to the venue so you do not have to wait in the infamous Waste Management cab line.  UBER cabs arrive very quickly so plan accordingly when ordering a car.

If you do not take a cab or UBER and still decide to have a few drinks then drive, there are a few things you should know in case you get pulled over and questioned for DUI.  No matter what question the police officer asks you, you need to reply the same way as if you are being questioned for murder or robbery.  The answer is “Officer I am not going to answer any questions or do any tests until I talk to my lawyer”.  By saying that you did not lie to the officer nor did you confess, you simply said “let me talk to my lawyer”.  In trial the officer cannot comment on your right to remain silent so the jury can only consider the evidence before them; which would be very minimal.

Put our 24/7 phone number, 602 307-0808, in your phone right now under “lawyer” just in case you get questioned for DUI or any other crime and call us.  Set up a Free Initial Consultation Here and we would love to meet with you and help you out.

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