Is It Legal To Sabotage A Competing Business In New Jersey?
You know what they say: All’s fair in love and war. And when you’re competing with another business for customers, it’s survival of the fittest. But how far are you legally allowed to go as you compete with your rivals? Where do we draw the line between competition and outright sabotage? If you have been accused of a crime for taking business competition a little too far, these are the questions you might be asking yourself. In this situation, it makes sense to get in touch with a qualified defense attorney as quickly as possible.
An Example of Illegal Business Competition in New Jersey
On June 2nd, the Department of Justice announced that a man had been arraigned for allegedly destroying and stealing equipment belonging to a rival laboratory operation in New Jersey. This individual was the CEO of a clinical laboratory business based in New Jersey. In June of 2022, this individual purchased a prepaid phone before calling a rival clinical laboratory and claiming to be a repair technician. He impersonated the employee of a repair company that he knew was hired to provide services to this rival company and showed up one day to carry out the fraudulent repairs.
After entering the lab, he methodically destroyed a range of lab equipment in the premises. He also apparently destroyed a number of computers and stole hard drives. It is not clear how he was caught, but this represents a very obvious and serious crime that crosses the line between healthy competition and outright sabotage.
With all that said, he has only been indicted on charges of wire fraud. There is no mention of trespassing or property destruction here, probably because he entered the rival business on false pretenses rather than actually breaking and entering. Still, the charge of wire fraud is incredibly serious, and he could face up to 20 years in prison – plus a fine of up to $250,000 (or twice the monetary gain or loss due to the crime).
When Is Competition Legal?
Competition is legal whenever you’re not breaking any laws. An obvious example is setting a competitive price for your services or products that give you an advantage over the competition. However, make sure you avoid price-rigging, collision, monopolies, and forming cartels that are anti-competitive in nature. These acts may be seen as illegal. Aggressive marketing campaigns are also acceptable, but you need to be careful not to break any defamation laws.
Where Can I Find a Qualified Defense Attorney in New Jersey?
If you’ve been searching for a New Jersey defense attorney, look no further than Phillip J. Murphy, Attorney Law. Over the years, we’ve helped numerous defendants pursue positive results. During a consultation, we can discuss your unique situation and determine the most appropriate defense strategy. Competing with another business doesn’t necessarily need to end in incarceration and other legal penalties. Reach out today to get started.