Many individuals find out that they’re facing federal charges when they receive a copy of the grand jury indictment in their case. It’s not uncommon for individuals charged with white-collar crimes to find that they’re also facing conspiracy charges.
Title 18 United States Code (USC) § 371 is a U.S. statute that describes what conspiracy is. It defines it as a situation in which two or more people join together to violate federal law. This law allows the U.S. Attorney’s Office to prosecute anyone they allege crafted a fraudulent scheme, regardless of whether they devised the plan or merely joined it.
What burden must federal prosecutors meet to prove that a conspiracy occurred?
There are a few different burdens that prosecutors must meet to adequately prove their conspiracy case, including that the defendant:
- Intentionally worked with someone else to defraud others or violate U.S. law.
- Committed an overt act after reaching an agreement to collaborate with others.
You should be aware that federal prosecutors often present circumstantial evidence to prove that some conspiracy occurred.
What are the potential sentences that individuals convicted of conspiracy face?
Federal guidelines allow for a defendant convicted on conspiracy charges to receive a prison sentence of up to five years per offense. A federal judge may also impose up to $250,000 in fines.
Federal investigators invest significant time and resources into compiling evidence before bringing charges. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is fast to take a case to trial. If you’re facing federal charges, an experienced attorney can help in develop and implement a defense strategy in your case.