New Iberia woman indicted for Internet fraud: What's next?

Federal law enforcement officials recently announced that they have indicted a woman for operating a web-based scam in New Iberia, Louisiana. Reports indicate that the accused woman will have the opportunity to enter her plea next month, but there is no indication as to how she will proceed with her criminal defense as it relates to the Internet fraud charges.

Authorities claim that the woman targeted at least 250 people from all over the country as part of two fraudulent business schemes. The woman apparently told people that they would have the ability to earn at least 50 percent on their investment in what was billed as a "Profit Sharing Opportunity." The second scheme reportedly offered even larger returns on investments.

The federal indictment states that the woman took over $1 million from her customers over the course of three years. Furthermore, the woman sought investors through her company's website and chat rooms.

A criminal indictment does not amount to proof of a person's innocence or guilt. Rather, an indictment is the criminal just system's way of formally accusing a person of criminal activity. Following the indictment, a person still has the ability to enter a plea and continue in the process of defending themselves against the charges.

Prosecutors tend to pursue federal white collar crimes with particular fervor. However, the accused woman still has the right to challenge the strength of evidence presented against her in court. Internet-based crimes frequently involve large amounts of complex evidence, so it's critical to closely examine all of it in order to make sure the defendant is treated fairly.

Source: Associated Press, "New Iberia woman indicted in Internet scheme," Dec. 14, 2012

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