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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27757
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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I live in the US. I ship DVD products around the world. One

Customer Question

I live in the US. I ship DVD products around the world. One of my clients in Austria wants me to send him a receipt for $300 for a product he paid $2000 for. I would also credit him back $2000 on his credit card, then rebill him $300 for the product, and another $1700 for the difference. He would show the $300 statement to customs in Austria and say that's what he paid.Since I've already billed him $2000, I have to refund him that and then rebill him. If anyone ever looked at all this , it's obvious what he's asking me to do. Is this illegal for me to do- I have never been and will likely never go to Austria. Maybe I should ask, HOW illegal is this? Thank you
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 11 months ago.


I'm Zoey and I'll be assisting you. I'm reviewing your question now. Please be patient while I research and compose a reply for you.

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 11 months ago.

It's plenty illegal and you should have nothing to do with it. Your customer is asking you to be a knowing party to a fraud against his government..

If he gets caught, you can too. You may not go to Austria, but you do ship worldwide. You don't want to incur the wrath of customs and have your other shipments come under scrutiny.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thank you. Do I understand that the worst case here is that my shipments to Austria (almost none) may be compromised in the future? I certainly can't be prosecuted in the US, correct? I will not supply any credit card charges but I think I will offer to pay whatever duty he has to pay.
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 11 months ago.

I don't know that your buyer will ever get caught or your complicity would ever come to light. The odds are probably low. You asked me if what you were both doing was illegal, however, and I have told you that it most certainly is, for both of you.

That said, the place where the crime is committed has jurisdiction over the crime. Your buyer is committing fraud in Austria. You would not generally be prosecuted for that here in the States. If the two of you were part of a big international racket to defraud, the two governments could intercooperate and you could be prosecuted here. But that's extremely unlikely in this instance.

However, there's nothing saying that your international shipments wouldn't be scrutinized if he were caught and you were suspected of being among those who aided him. Austria is in the EU.

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 11 months ago.

Just checking in to see if you need more help or any clarification of my answer. If so, please reply here on this question thread.