Computer & Internet Fraud Defense Attorney

Individuals who are convicted of online fraud – including identity theft or hacking into a computer for fraudulent transactions — face felony charges, steep penalties and up to 20 years in prison. Jeffery King is a veteran criminal defense lawyer in Dallas with a strong background in computer and Internet fraud. When facing a computer fraud charge, you need an aggressive, meticulous lawyer who can spot weaknesses in evidentiary findings, helping clients make informed decisions on whether to pursue a plea agreement or take the case to trial.

Don’t let a false conviction ruin your career prospects or life – choose a competent, proven defense attorney to protect your rights.

Thanks to an increasing reliance on computers for shopping, paying bills and managing bank and credit card payments, Internet fraud has escalated dramatically, sparking concern for both law enforcement officials and civilians. From phishing scams promising low-interest loans to credit card theft, computer fraud is a federal crime under 18 U.S. Code § 1030.

Computer Fraud

Computer fraud – a term which is used interchangeably with Internet fraud — is defined as use of the Internet or online software to take advantage of or defraud victims. Suspects may be convicted of computer fraud if they utilized a computer system for the purposes of:

  • Conducting an online scam or illegal activity
  • Hacking into a computer’s hardware system without authorization
  • Data theft
  • Identity theft
  • Extorting money or valuables
  • Online sex crimes such as child pornography
  • Destroying or damaging data vital to the operation of a business
  • Denial of service — interrupting an authorized user’s access
  • Phishing – emailing false or forged documents in an effort to gain personal, sensitive information such as bank account numbers or passwords
  • Spoofing – using a fake IP address during online communications in order to deceive recipients into providing private financial information

After witnessing a noticeable spike in computer crimes, Congress passed the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act in 1986. Under provisions set forth in 18 U.S. Code Section 1030, authorities can prosecute a range of illicit activities that are conducted through chat rooms, websites, e-mail, social media and message boards.

Internet Fraud Examples

Internet fraud and online schemes steal millions of dollars from innocent victims every year. The following are some of the most common examples of online fraud, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation:

  • Use of malware/scareware to disable computer systems
  • Internet banking fraud – using computer systems or online means to fraudulently secure money or assets from a bank or financial institution
  • Internet auction fraud – defrauding victims through misrepresentation or fake investment schemes
  • Non-delivery of merchandise – a type of business fraud in which an Internet auction seller purposefully refuses to ship merchandise after receiving payment for the item
  • Business fraud – includes non-payment of funds, use of fake charities to solicit donations, and other illegal activities committed by companies or individuals for financial gain
  • Credit card fraud – Unauthorized use of debit or credit cards, usually through identity theft
  • Phony investment schemes including Ponzi and Pyramid schemes to lure unwitting investors with guaranteed returns

Theft of Information

It is a federal crime to use the Internet to steal sensitive data from a secure, private computer network. This includes hacking into a non-public computer for the theft of top secret information (gleaned from government sites), theft of intellectual property or corporate trade secrets, as well as the illegal replication of movies, video games and music that are copyrighted.

Theft of Service

In the context of computer fraud, theft of service is a rampant problem wherein computer hackers obtain free access to paid websites or connections without paying fees. Hackers are unauthorized users who illegally break into computer systems in order to steal information, destroy data or install dangerous malware.

Under Texas law CSHB 896, residents can be convicted of computer crimes if they have knowingly accessed a computer, system or network “with the intent to defraud or harm another or alter, damage, or delete property.”

Online Fraud Penalties

Internet fraud offenses can bring about civil and criminal charges, brought by the individual or entities that were injured or deceived. The U.S. government has established several key task forces to combat online crimes, including the National Cybercrime Training Partnership (NCTP), which trains state and local law enforcement officials on the varied nuances of computer crimes.

Punishments for Internet fraud in Texas and around the nation are meant to be severe. A conviction for identity theft can carry a 15-year prison sentence and thousands of dollars in fines.

“Competent and Compassionate”

I found Jeff to be a competent and compassionate advocate. As a client, he was the “voice” that I needed him to be to achieve a good result. He allowed me to communicate my needs to him and then diligently went to work to attain them. I would recommend him without hesitation.

“I was given a fair and positive outcome.”

With the type circumstance I had, it was not a hard case nor one that required a court visit or in front of a Judge but it did take some research and many hours of information gathering. I was given to the point, fair and accurate information by Jeffery King and he stuck with me through the whole ordeal. This was not only vital but very personable and I appreciated that to the fullest. I felt comfortable and positive through the entire situation and was given a fair and positive outcome. I thank Jeff King and his other staff that were involved for all they did.

“Prepared, Aggressive & Passionate about the Defense”

As the father of a recent active duty Air Force client of Mr. King’s, and being intimately involved day to day with the case, I can say without hesitation nor mental reservation, Jeff King is a consummate professional. Jeff was not only prepared, aggressive, and passionate about the defense, he also made the time to explain in detail every facet of the trial as it progressed. Having an attorney of Jeff’s caliber in our corner bestowed a feeling of confidence to our family, which was a critical factor in our ability to manage the stressfulness inherent to such serious allegations. Jeff prepared the entire family for every scenario, good and bad, and for that we are forever grateful. Upon receipt of the not guilty verdict and celebrating the obvious joy we felt that this “created adventure” had now come to an end, also came the realization that not only had he won this case, and with it our son’s continued freedom and innocence, but we had made a friend of the highest regard. Our family cannot thank Mr. King enough for his excellent representation on behalf of our son, but also for the lofty amount of integrity and humility demonstrated during the most trying time of our lives. Much respect and Semper Fi.

“Jeff is the best!”

I thought my life was over when I was accused of a horrible crime at a general court-martial. From the moment I met Jeff, he instilled confidence in my case and showed a real enthusiasm for what he does. Be warned: Jeff will put you to work! He prepares for battle and expects you to contribute. He is confident in court and I enjoyed watching the jury respond to him. In the end, I was found NOT GUILTY to all charges! I am so grateful that I hired Jeff to defend me.

“Jeff sets the standard.”

Jeff was amazing! He handled my case through the end of the Article 32 hearing, and set the basis for my acquittal. If it had been any other IO than the one it was, I am certain it would have been dismissed right then, as all the objections he made in the Article 32 were later upheld by the Military Judge, and they been upheld at the Article 32 hearing, it would have been dismissed on the spot. His knowledge, and preparation made all the difference in my case, and his relentless pursuit of the truth showed through. He will always be my first recommendation to anyone who needs legal help.

Texas Internet Fraud Defense Attorney

When facing allegations of computer crimes, it is wise to align yourself with an experienced Internet fraud lawyer who can perform a meticulous evaluation of evidence and develop strategies to defend false accusations. Using his prior experience as a prosecuting attorney, Jeff King can secure favorable results in the most challenging of cases.

We handle online fraud and computer crime cases throughout the greater Dallas metro area. To schedule a free consultation at the Law Office of Jeffery King, please call 469-551-4817.

Additional Resources:

  1. Jeff King Law, Sharing Password Ends with Jail Time
  2. Cornell University Law School, 18 U.S. Code § 1030 – Fraud and related activity in connection with computers
  3. FBI, Internet Fraud
  4. U.S. Department of Justice, Prosecuting Computer Crimes

Case Evaluation