Federal Wire Fraud Defense Attorney
Wire Fraud Charges encompass a wide variety of allegations, and the United States Attorney’s Office often adds wire fraud to other federal criminal charges. Many white-collar federal prosecutions start with a “target letter” from an Assistant U.S. Attorney, notifying you that you’re about to be charged. If you get a letter like this, don’t ignore it; if you do, you’re likely to be arrested at home or work. Instead, contact an experienced federal criminal defense attorney right away. A target letter means that an Assistant U.S. Attorney has likely already presented evidence to a grand jury – a secret proceeding in front of a group of your peers – about your alleged criminal conduct.
Call us today at (781) 797-0555 for a free confidential phone consultation with a federal criminal defense attorney.
According to the wire fraud statute, 18 U.S.C. § 1343, the law covers any conduct in which a person uses the telephone or electronic communication for the purpose of defrauding another person or entity. Electronic communication can mean email, fax, text messages, video chats, or instant messages, among other methods of contact.
Wire fraud charges are frequently accompanies by other federal criminal charges on the same indictment, such as: Ponzi Schemes, Tax Fraud, Securities Fraud, Social Security Fraud, Money Laundering, Bank Fraud, Health Care Fraud, Identity Theft, and Immigration Fraud.
Wire Fraud Definition & Penalties
The statute instructs 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” can be imprisoned for up to 20 years. In certain enumerated circumstances, the maximum penalty climbs up to 30 years in prison.
The actual sentence for a conviction will depend on many factors, and having the right attorney can give you an advantage.
Elements of Wire Fraud
The elements required to prove wire fraud vary slightly between federal circuits. In the First Circuit, including all Massachusetts federal courts, the government must prove each of the following element beyond a reasonable doubt that:
First: There was a scheme to defraud;
Second: You knowingly and willfully participated in the scheme; and
Third: Wire communications were used in furtherance of the scheme.
Wire Fraud Defense
Wire fraud cases can be incredibly complex, and sometimes includes tens or even hundreds of thousands of pages worth of evidence. An experienced federal criminal defense law firm can identify relevant and helpful documents, while challenging or putting others into context.
The defense will depend on the specific allegations in your case. One example of a past successful defense strategy is “good faith,” meaning that the person accused had an honest belief that his or her actions were lawful. This can be accomplished by comparing the alleged actions to accepted industry standards, or by showing that you acting promptly to correct a mistake.
If you or a loved one is accused of wire fraud, call us today at (781) 797-0555 for a free confidential phone consultation.