Wire fraud charges, in practice, are very similar to mail fraud. If a person uses email, text, a phone call, instant message, Facetime or Skype, a radio transmission or the internet while defrauding another person in some way, they have committed wire fraud.
It is important to note that a cell phone, while actually “wire”-less, still meets the criteria for wire fraud. Again, the application is not dissimilar to mail fraud.
Often used to prosecute organized crime, wire fraud allows the government to bring a serious charge against someone they may have initially targeted for some other offense. When a federal prosecutor thinks that there might be an issue proving drug conspiracy or extortion charges beyond a reasonable doubt, the prosecutor might attempt to bring a wire fraud charge that is easier to prove.
This particular charge is also frequently tied to white collar crime. The FBI is generally the investigative organization that handles these crimes, and the agents that handle these types of cases are among the best in the agency. Investigations can often span years and involve enormous sums of money, especially for large financial institutions.
18 U.S. Code § 1343 specifies that whoever, having devised or intending to devise any scheme or artifice to defraud, or for obtaining money or property by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises, transmits or causes to be transmitted by means of wire, radio, or television communication in interstate or foreign commerce, any writings, signs, signals, pictures, or sounds for the purpose of executing such scheme or artifice, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.
If the violation occurs in relation to, or involving any benefit authorized, transported, transmitted, transferred, disbursed, or paid in connection with, a presidentially declared major disaster or emergency or affects a financial institution, such person shall be fined not more than $1,000,000 or imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both.
The length of a sentence is tied directly to the amount of money involved, commonly referred to as the loss amount. If you have been indicted on wire fraud charges, you are going to need an attorney with the experience and knowledge to effectively fight for you. Tim Bower Rodriguez, PA will fight aggressively on your behalf to build an effective, strategic defense. Contact us to request your free wire fraud defense consultation today.