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White collar crimes: Indictment returned in refund fraud scheme

Facing criminal charges in Michigan or elsewhere is serious, and seeking legal counsel from the onset is crucial. Such a case that involved alleged white collar crimes recently led to a superseding indictment by a federal grand jury in another state. A 26-year-old woman and a co-defendant face 14 counts, including aggravated identity theft, wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Court documents indicate that the woman, along with three co-defendants, planned on defrauding financial institutions by running a fraudulent refund scheme. It is alleged that they pretended to be merchants who had to refund clients. Legitimate refund programs exist for merchants who have to refund erroneous charges, returns and reimbursements. The group allegedly based the fraud scheme on that process.

Further allegations include them purchasing or stealing point-of-sale machines on which businesses do credit or debit card transactions. They allegedly programmed the terminal to make them show up as legitimate vendors and processed refund requests for non-existing purchases. The refunds were channeled into bank accounts that the alleged fraudsters controlled. Court documents indicate that the refund fraud scheme involved at least $3.5 million.

Facing white collar crimes charges can have devastating consequences, and having an experienced Michigan criminal defense attorney in his or her corner is essential. A lawyer can scrutinize the evidence before devising a strong defense strategy. If a plea deal is offered, legal counsel can negotiate the best possible deal for the client. If no plea agreement is on the table, the attorney can navigate the litigation to pursue the best possible outcome for the client.

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