According to news sources, a man who was awaiting trial on federal fraud charges was busy while out on bond. The man allegedly stole another person’s identity and laundered counterfeit money, according to the FBI.
Joseph Graziano, 28, was awaiting trial on a $25,000 bond when allegedly stole a New York man’s driver’s license. He altered the license and used it to rent a mailbox at a UPS store, then had Ugandan conspirators ship boxes of counterfeit money to his address.
He used the money to shop for small items at various establishments, paying with $100 bills and receiving large amounts of change in “real” currency. He also used the money to wire cash to confederates in Uganda and bought prepaid debit and credit cards using fake $50 and $20 bills.
Graziano was arrested by U.S. Marshals in Phoenix. U.S. Attorney Tonya Goodman of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has asked for his bail to be revoked. The FBI is accusing him of setting up at least two criminal enterprises involving financial fraud or scams. He is accused of embezzling $2.4 million from the Bank of New York Mellon Corp.
Incredibly, Graziano maintained a website where he blogged about his exploits. In the blog, he describes his lavish lifestyle of “loud music, sexy women, adrenaline pumping.”
What Is Financial Fraud?
In simple terms, financial fraud is the act of tricking someone else out of his or her money or assets. There are many forms of fraud, some of which are classified as their own crimes. For example, cashing a check from someone else’s account by signing their name to the check is forgery as well as theft.
Most financial fraud is handled by local authorities because it involves a relatively small amount of money and the acts were committed locally. In this case, however, federal prosecutors became involved not only because of the huge size of the alleged thefts but also because the actions cross state and national lines. When someone crosses state lines in the commission of a crime, jurisdiction becomes blurry. Therefore, federal prosecutors often handle these types of crimes.
If you are accused of any type of fraud or theft involving money, contact Alex Lane immediately. His years of experience as a criminal defense attorney may allow him to help you defend yourself against these types of charges and reduce or eliminate the possible penalties associated with these crimes.