What to Expect When Facing Pyramid Scheme Charges | TX

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What to Expect When Facing Pyramid Scheme Charges

 Posted on February 20,2024 in Criminal Defense

Pleasanton criminal defense lawyerBeing charged with operating or participating in a pyramid scheme can be an overwhelming and frightening experience. It is important to know what you may be up against to improve any chance of lowering or potentially dismissing the charge. A Texas criminal defense lawyer can guide you on the most ideal approach.

The Accusations

The accusations will claim that you deliberately tricked individuals into joining and providing money to an organization you knew would collapse. Prosecutors will attempt to portray your actions as intentional fraud rather than a lawful multi-level marketing structure. Expect accusations around things like:

  • Promising unreasonable returns for joining and recruiting others
  • Emphasizing recruiting over actual product sales
  • Requiring large upfront payments to participate

It is important to remember these are just accusations at this stage. With an experienced legal defense team, there are options for responding to and potentially countering them.

The Investigation

Government regulators like the Federal Trade Commission or attorneys general typically conduct extensive investigations before bringing formal pyramid scheme charges.

Expect questions around topics like:

  • Your role, responsibilities, and activities in the company
  • Discussions you had with potential participants about income opportunities
  • How participant money was used

It is essential not to obstruct justice, lie outright, or destroy evidence during an investigation, as that can constitute a criminal charge. However, ensure you have competent legal representation before participating in any interviews or turning over potentially sensitive information. Your testimony will be critically important to the case.

The Legal Process

If regulators believe they have a case, pyramid scheme charges will come through an official complaint detailing the specific allegations and laws violated. Common charges often include mail/wire fraud, False Claims Act violations, state anti-pyramid statutes, and failure to register with regulatory bodies.

The next steps will depend heavily on whether charges come through civil or criminal court. On the criminal side, your legal team can negotiate things like bail terms and begin building a defense around refuting intent to defraud. Expect multiple hearings leading up to a potential trial by jury.

Things tend to move slower civilly, though authorities typically seek restitution for victims alongside penalties and injunctions against business activities. There is still ample ability to contest allegations and aim for settlements or dismissals before reaching trial.

Building Your Defense Strategy

The precise defense strategy will depend on the nature of the evidence and options your legal counsel identifies. But common angles often include:

  • Showing good faith but questionable business judgment
  • Blaming misconduct on rogue employees and participants
  • Arguing the model depends on retail product sales
  • Disputing the level of knowledge or involvement you had

Legal and reputational defenses are important, as authorities feed off the public perception of guilt around pyramid allegations. An attorney experienced in fighting these charges can carefully construct a defense to match the specifics of your case.

Contact a Pleasanton, TX Criminal Defense Lawyer

The uncertainty of the road ahead can cause major stress and anxiety. You do not have to navigate this alone. Things can go easier with an Atascosa County, TX criminal defense attorney on your side. Call BRCK Criminal Defense Attorneys at 830-769-1010 for a free consultation.

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