As authorities put a greater focus on pursuing fraud cases, they will start to look to new places to find potential prosecutions. One such place is the internet. Prosecutors have begun to look more closely at internet companies as potential sources of fraud schemes. This is demonstrated by a recent case involving a Florida man.
The man ran an online advertising site. As part of this business, he supposedly sold “ad packages” to investors. Prosecutors claim that this was actually a Ponzi scheme. It is alleged that he would promise investors high returns if they bought the “ad packages,” and he would then use the money to pay earlier investors. Prosecutors claim the scheme grew to involve many investors and over a hundred million dollars.
The charges brought against the man are quite serious. He is being charged with several crimes, including counts of wire fraud and securities fraud. He could face significant jail time and monetary fines if found guilty of these charges.
This case demonstrates a new trend in the prosecution, enforcement and investigation of fraud cases. This trend is the increase in the prosecution of fraud cases connected to the internet. The internet has brought many changes to the world we live in. It has become a major part of many American’s lives, and many entrepreneurs have looked to this new technology to start businesses.
However, cases like this one indicate that authorities are putting these types of businesses under greater scrutiny. As the internet grows as market place, it is likely that fraud prosecutions connected to the internet will as well. Thus, do not be surprised if we see more cases like this in the future.
Source: The Wall Street Journal, “Florida Man Indicted For Fraud Linked To Online Ad Company,” (Article no longer available online) Joan E. Solsman, 1 Dec 2010