You may have been a Facebook member for years, and you often connect with people using this social media site. However, law enforcement authorities have charged you with embezzlement. Did information voluntarily posted on Facebook lead the authorities to your doorstep?
Differences in social media use
Most of the world uses social media sites to keep in touch with relatives and friends, conduct honest business, stay abreast of local information and much more. Life online can be very helpful and enjoyable. However, to balance the many positive aspects, there are negative aspects. People with criminal intent also use social media and similar types of communication. They use texting, email, chat rooms and various other forums to conduct illegal business such as scams, money laundering, bribery and embezzlement.
How law enforcement reacts
Ever since email and social media sites started becoming popular, law enforcement has had an ongoing struggle to keep up with the newest innovations. The development of sophisticated cyber tools enables both federal and state officials to maintain surveillance over suspected illegal activities online. For instance, they are able to analyze Facebook photos and postings as well as other communication avenues to collect information.
Help for prosecutors
In building criminal cases, prosecutors pull together electronic communication evidence using Title III wiretap authority, warrants and subpoenas. Members of many criminal organizations use email to communicate with each other and often do not realize such information still exists, even if they deleted it from their cellphones or computers. Those who have a better understanding of email, social media or other types of activity in cyberspace suggest meeting with one another for in-person conversations so as not to leave a trail of information easily followed by law enforcement.
You may have carelessly left information on Facebook that is now coming back to haunt you. A charge of embezzlement is a serious matter. but remember you have rights to protect. It is time to explore your legal options. In the meantime, be careful what you post on Facebook, and refrain from discussing the embezzlement charge with anyone but your attorney.