In simple terms, affinity fraud is a scam related to investment fraud that’s done against a group that can be identified. The perpetrators of affinity fraud will tend to target the members of a single group, usually but not always the members of a religious organization. It isn’t always the case, but sometimes scammers will go “undercover” so to speak and pretend to be a member in the organization in order to promote an investment that will scam the organization out of money.
The unfortunate thing about affinity fraud is that since it involves someone who was considered to be a part of the group, authorities don’t always find out about what’s happened, and even the people who were scammed out of their money refuse to come forward and testify against the scammer. Typically, if someone is accused of affinity fraud they will form a certain strategy. In some cases this will involve preparing for some kind of settlement arrangement, or it could be all about developing a legal strategy and defense that will prove your innocence in the case.
Whatever your particular strategy, you’re going to need a defense lawyer who will be able to realize your plans. The best defense here is a good offense, and you’ll want to strike before you have a potential mountain of allegations and evidence against you.
What exactly is affinity fraud?
Affinity fraud will typically involve a pyramid scheme or else a Ponzi scheme. Both of these schemes are actually quite similar. With a Ponzi scheme, you’d be getting investors to give you money while promising that they’ll get high returns, or this can be done through old investors who use their status to convince new investors to provide them with funds, all for the same basic purpose. A pyramid scheme, however, will involve convincing potential victims to invest in a scam where the victim is informed that they’ll make money by signing others up into the program in order to sell products. In this kind of a situation, money isn’t really made from selling the product, but instead by marketing the actual product.
The thing that both of these schemes have in common is that they both rely on finding a fresh set of “investors” to buy into this opportunity. So in essence, affinity fraud is the best way to get even more investments into this scam. Affinity fraud will tend to preclude being a member of a group, typically, as we said, a religious organization. Once the scammer has infiltrated the group, easy targets will be sniffed out and taken advantage of.
What are the penalties for affinity fraud?
As we’ve said before, affinity fraud is just another type of investment fraud. As such, someone who’s been charged with being involved in a scam related to affinity fraud will be facing federal and state charges, including wire fraud, mail fraud, commodities and securities fraud, and larceny as well as embezzlement, among many similar charges. If you happened to join a group so that you could make other members of the group engage in a shoddy investment, you can be charged with every crime that any of the co-conspirators also committed in the case. So even if you were just the face of the scam, the one who charmed potential victims and then led them on to other scammers in your group, you’ll still be looking at a long prison sentence, in the order of twenty years, or even thirty years if a bank was defrauded. But naturally, all cases are unique, and there really is no one size fits all solution to your legal problems. As such, the first thing you should do is to get in touch with the right attorney for you.
Considering just how severe the legal ramifications of being convicted of affinity fraud can be, it’s absolutely vital that you get in touch with the right legal counsel for your case, someone who has extensive experience with affinity fraud cases. You’ll find exactly that at the law firm of Joseph Potashnik and Associates, PC. Our NYC criminal lawyers have successfully handled hundreds of state and federal white collar cases at all stages of the criminal process. So reach out today, and we’ll get you the help you need.