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The outlook of trading cryptocurrencies

Contrary to what many New Yorkers might believe, Ponzi schemes can involve more than inexperienced investors and greedy schemers. Many of these cases are complex and easily overlooked; what can seem a wise financial step can become a disaster overnight. More recently, a different angle of this crime has reached the spotlight: that of cryptocurrencies. 

Last September, Market Insider focused on a case in which a New York man faced accusations of operating a bitcoin Ponzi scheme. Nicholas Gelfman, Brooklyn resident and head trader, allegedly solicited $600,000 from 80 different clients -- which, according to Market Insider, involved false strategies and reports. Gelfman purportedly "staged" a hack in attempts to cover up the scheme. Such cases are not isolated, either; Market Insider points out that this form of Ponzi scheme is a popular strategy of the Italian mafia to launder money. Others have extorted large amounts of cryptocurrency from malware victims.

Bank fraud may not include intent to defraud a bank

Fraud charges are often very difficult to understand, especially considering just how complex our banking systems are in 2018 as opposed to banking even 10 or so years ago. More than ever, we live in an interconnected world, and those interconnections often blur the lines between legal boundaries, giving rise to criminal charges a defendant may not expect.

Bank fraud is a complicated charge that may arise a number of ways. If you or someone you know faces accusations of bank fraud, or criminal charges to that effect, it is important to remain calm and controlled as you assess your options. In many white collar crime cases, it is the behavior of the suspect after he or she receives charges that causes the greatest harm in the long run.

When an identity theft charge threatens a reputation

A growing problem across the nation, identity theft is a crime that has taken on many meanings. For those found guilty of identity theft, just one wrongful accusation can result in years of fines and negative repercussions. New York is one of many states that is significantly more vulnerable to such crimes, but is also one that applies serious penalties.

Repercussions to this type of white collar crime may be valid, but as for those falsely accused, gray areas can arise. The New York City Bar's website lists options one can consider when falsely accused of a crime, stating that a person who spreads the false information could be responsible for paying damages to the falsely accused. The two types of defamation -- libel, which is in written form, and slander, which refers to orally published defamation -- help clarify the statements. However, the elements in each carry the same meaning. Plaintiffs in these incidents must prove that, first and foremost, the defendant made a false statement that he or she knew to be incorrect. False statements must also be specific, as vague statements cannot trace to a particular person. There must also be proof that the defendant shared the false information with one-third party who is not the target and, lastly, the statement must have damaged a person's character. 

Laws on cyber-insider trading not always clear

It is not all that uncommon for people in New York to hear reports about a person, often a corporate executive of a company, being accused of some form of embezzlement, insider trading or other white collar crime. This is not because the people are likely criminals or in search of some easy way of making money. It may be due in part to the fact that the roles these people hold provide them insight into certain information and that the laws on what is and what is not legal here are not completely black and white.

Even when it comes to hacking into products or computer systems, the legality of such an action may differ based upon what is done after the actual hack occurs. If, for example, a person is able to successfully break into a system that controls a medical device designed to essentially keep a person alive, they may or may not be on the verge of an illegal act. After hacking in, if the hacker then disables an active device that results in harm to or the death of a person, criminal charges may come into play. 

Is insider trading actually legal?

When business-minded individuals in New York look into the stock market, they're met with a whole world of possibilities. Unfortunately, you're also going to run into a lot of laws dictating what can and can't be done when it comes to buying or selling your stocks. Insider trading is known as an illegal move, but did you know that there's actually a legitimate form of insider trading, too?

According to the United States Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), insider trading can actually refer to both legal and illegal conduct in the stock market. Generally speaking, it's the latter that comes to mind. However, there is also legal insider trading that you can take part in. In this scenario, stock within your own company is bought and sold by employees, directors, or officers of the company itself. Though they must report these trades to the SEC, the act is not illegal.

Copyright infringement and criminal charges

Many people in New York might not associated copyrights and criminal charges but it is important to know that the two can in fact be linked. Among the many examples of this is one that involves alleged illegal distribution of two Hollywood blockbuster films earlier in the century. As explained by the United States Department of Justice, four different individuals were charged with federal crimes involving copyright infringement and conspiracy.

Copyrights are granted to individuals or multiple persons for the creation of original creative works. According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, these works might include novels, movies, music, sculptures, paintings and more. While the person or persons who hold a copyright are granted exclusive rights to their works, the law does recognize some references or uses thereof for select purposes.

Governor proposes research for legal pot

Most New York residents likely know that over the last few years, a handlful of states and the District of Columbia have passed legislation that has allows marijuana to be used for recreational purposes within their jurisdictions. While the trend started in the western part of the country, neighboring Vermont and Massachusetts have followed suit and there are rumblings that New Jersey may also legalize recreational pot.

It is important to know that any state-specific marijuana law does not supercede federal laws and there remain strict regulations around transporting marijuana across state lines via any form of transportation including land, water or air. To date, the state of New York has held firmly to its stance against legalizing pot for non-medicinal purposes. Even the laws in New York that allow marijuana to be used as part of a medical therapy or treatment protocol, the use is limited. Currently there are estimated to be more than 40,000 people allowed to use pot medicinally in New York.

Understanding possession with intent to distribute

Receiving any kind of drug charge is very serious, but possession with intent to distribute is a particularly concerning charge that regularly results in serious jail time. It is well known that drug charges receive some of the harshest sentencing handed down to any non-violent crime, often placing convicts behind bars for years at a time and altering the course of their lives irrevocably.

No matter what kind of drug charge you receive, be mindful to build as strong a defense as you can to fight these charges. If you do receive a conviction, finding work, housing or certain kinds of insurance may prove impossible, even after you serve the time in your sentence. An experienced attorney can help you examine your circumstances to assess defense options and do everything available within the law to protect your rights and future.

Reporting of cryptocurrency gains not consistent

When residents in New York hear reports about people being charged with tax evasion or other forms of white collar crime, it can be all too easy to assume that a person was consciously trying to do something wrong. This, however, is not necessarily the case. Many tax and investment laws and guidelines can be complex and lead to difficulty in knowing what really needs to be done when. In addition, many loopholes in the tax code essentially help people reduce their tax liability.

Crytocurrencies are one area where the laws are anything but black and white. For example, Bitcoin which is globally the most common of these currencies is not considered actual legal money in this country. Therefore, people who would normally and accurately report capital gains or losses on their tax returns might logically omit any gains associated with Bitcoin given that it is not currently a legal tender.

The difference between tax fraud and negligence

New York residents, like all other citizens of the country, are required to pay yearly taxes to the government. However, everyone is human and sometimes people make mistakes. In these situations, it's important to be able to differentiate between tax fraud and tax negligence.

FindLaw states simply that not all violations of tax law are considered tax fraud. If a person has been charged with tax fraud in some form, then it implies that the IRS has assumed that their actions were committed intentionally, and that they had the idea to evade payment in taking those actions.

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