Wire fraud refers to any fraudulent activity that involves the use of telecommunications, such as the internet, telephone, email, or fax, and is considered a federal crime in the US.
18 United States Code 1343 outlines the elements of wire fraud:
- that the defendant voluntarily and intentionally devised or participated in a scheme to defraud another out of money;
- that the defendant did so with the intent to defraud;
- that it was reasonably foreseeable that interstate wire communications would be used; and
- that interstate wire communications were used.
Wire fraud can take many forms, including email scams, phone scams, social media scams, wire transfer fraud, and investment fraud. In email scams, the perpetrator may pose as a trusted source, such as a bank, government agency, or someone in need of a loan, and ask for personal information, such as banking and credit card account information, which is then used to access funds belonging to the account holder. Phone scams and social media scams operate similarly.
Wire transfer fraud involves requesting that money be sent via wire transfer, with the perpetrator posing as royalty, a long-lost relative, or a person in desperate need of a loan. Investment fraud involves making false or misleading statements to induce someone to invest money in a fraudulent scheme.How to Avoid Becoming a Victim of Wire Fraud
To avoid becoming a victim of wire fraud, it is important to be aware of the tactics used by scammers. Some tips for identifying and avoiding wire fraud scams include being suspicious of unsolicited phone calls or emails, verifying the identity of the person or organization before providing any personal or financial information, and monitoring bank and credit card accounts regularly for unauthorized activity.
It is also important to protect personal and financial information by using strong passwords, keeping antivirus software up to date, and avoiding public Wi-Fi networks when accessing sensitive information.What is the Punishment for Wire Fraud?
A person convicted of wire fraud can face a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison, as well as fines of up to $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss resulting from the offense, whichever is greater.
In addition to these criminal penalties, a person convicted of committing wire fraud may also be required to pay restitution to the victims of the fraud. Restitution is the payment of money to compensate for the losses suffered by the victims of a crime.
It is important to note that the actual penalties for wire fraud will depend on the specific circumstances of each case, including the severity of the offense, the amount of money involved, and the defendant's criminal history.Common Defenses to Wire Fraud Charges
Several defenses can be used to fight wire fraud charges. Some common defenses include:
- Lack of intent to defraud: One of the essential elements of wire fraud is that the defendant must have had the intent to defraud the victim. If the defendant can show that they did not have the intent to defraud, it can be a strong defense.
- Lack of knowledge: If the defendant did not know that the communications were being used in furtherance of a fraudulent scheme, they may be able to argue that they did not have the requisite knowledge to commit wire fraud.
- Lack of participation: If the defendant did not actively participate in the wire fraud scheme, they may be able to argue that they were not involved in the crime.
- Entrapment: If law enforcement induced the defendant to commit wire fraud, they may be able to argue that they were entrapped and should not be held responsible for the crime.
- Duress: If the defendant was forced to commit wire fraud under duress, such as a threat of harm, they may be able to argue that they should not be held responsible for the crime.
- Insufficient evidence: If the prosecution does not have enough evidence to prove the elements of wire fraud beyond a reasonable doubt, the defendant may be able to argue that they should be acquitted.
It is important to note that the specific defense strategy will depend on the unique circumstances of each case. If you are facing wire fraud charges, it is crucial to seek the advice and representation of an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you understand your legal options and develop a defense strategy tailored to your specific situation.What to Do If You Are Accused of Wire Fraud
If you are under investigation for wire fraud, it is important to take immediate action to protect your rights. The first step is to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you understand your legal options and provide guidance throughout the process.
Your Los Angeles mail fraud attorney can work to investigate the allegations against you and develop a defense strategy tailored to your specific situation. Depending on the circumstances of your case, your attorney may be able to negotiate a plea agreement or argue for a reduction in charges or penalties.
Possible outcomes of a wire fraud case may include acquittal, conviction with penalties, or a plea agreement. Your attorney can help you understand the potential consequences of each outcome and guide you in making the best decision for your situation.
Wire fraud is a serious crime that can result in severe penalties. If you are facing charges of wire fraud, it is crucial to seek the advice and representation of an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help protect your rights and fight for the best possible outcome. Contact William Kroger, a skilled criminal defense attorney with experience in wire fraud cases, for a consultation today.Why Am I Being Charged With Wire Fraud Under Federal Law Instead of California Law?
While wire fraud is also a crime under California law, the federal government has jurisdiction over wire fraud cases that involve interstate or international commerce, which is often the case with these types of fraud.
In other words, if the fraudulent scheme involves communications that cross state or national borders, the federal government has the authority to investigate and prosecute the case. For example, if the fraudster uses an email server that is located in a different state or country than the victim, the case could be considered an interstate or international crime.
In addition, wire fraud cases may also be prosecuted under federal law in federal court if they involve federal agencies, such as the IRS or the SEC, or if the fraud affects a federally insured financial institution, such as a bank or credit union.
It is important to note that being charged under federal law instead of California law does not necessarily mean that the penalties will be more severe. In fact, in some cases, federal sentencing guidelines may result in lighter penalties than those under state law.
If you are facing wire fraud charges under federal law, it is important to seek the advice and representation of an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you navigate the complexities of the federal legal system and protect your rights.
In summary, wire fraud cases that involve interstate or international commerce, federal agencies, or federally insured financial institutions may be charged under federal law instead of California law. It is important to seek the advice of a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney to understand the implications of being charged under federal law and to receive guidance throughout the legal process.Contact a Los Angeles Wire Fraud Lawyer
If you have been accused of wire fraud, it is essential to seek the advice and representation of an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help protect your rights and fight for the best possible outcome.
William Kroger is a skilled criminal defense attorney with experience representing clients in wire fraud cases. He understands the complexities of the federal legal system and will work tirelessly to investigate the allegations against you, develop a strong defense strategy, and fight for your rights both in and out of court.
With offices in Los Angeles, William Kroger is dedicated to providing personalized and effective legal representation to clients throughout Southern California. He has a proven track record of success in wire fraud cases and will work tirelessly to defend your rights and freedom.
If you are facing wire fraud charges, don't wait to get the help you need. Contact William Kroger today for a consultation and to learn more about how he can help you fight for the best possible outcome. Contact Mr. Kroger online or call us today for your free consultation at 323-655-5700.