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White collar crimes: $1 million sales of fake memorabilia

Michigan residents who purchased memorabilia online between 2010 and last month might now be unsure about the authenticity of the products. Federal prosecutors reported the arrest of a man in another state on white collar crimes charges. It is alleged that he offered autographed items of celebrities, movie stars and sports figures online. The indictment claims that people who were hired and paid to do it forged the signatures.

According to the indictment, items that allegedly contained the fake autographs included actors from "Twilight" and "Hunger Games" and also "Star Wars" actors like Darth Vader and others. It is alleged that the forgeries were advertised and sold online. The indictment asserts that ordered items were then shipped via FedEx, U.S. Mail and other interstate carriers -- both private and commercial.

The unsealed grand jury indictment includes 19 counts -- 13 counts of wire fraud, three of mail fraud and three aggravated identity theft. Reportedly, if convicted, the man could face a federal prison sentence of 20 years per fraud count, and two years for each of the aggravated identity theft counts. However, in the eyes of the law, an accused individual is innocent until, and only if, the prosecution proves guilt in court and beyond a reasonable doubt.

Anyone in Michigan who is accused of committing white collar crimes will likely want to retain the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney at the earliest opportunity. Legal counsel can protect the client's legal rights throughout the criminal court proceedings. The attorney can devise a strong defense based on the available facts and evidence with the focus on achieving the best possible outcome.

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