Nearly all types of fraud in New York utilize non-face-to-face communications such as telephone, email or mail. As a result, wire fraud and mail fraud charges often occur together. You could spend up to 30 years in prison and pay up to $1 million in fines if the action impacted a financial institution if convicted. We frequently represent clients charged with white-collar crimes, such as mail or wire fraud, embezzlement, credit card fraud or money laundering.
According to Cornell Law School, wire fraud occurs when a person uses a telephone or computer to commit a criminal act.
Elements of wire fraud
Wire fraud statutes are identical to mail fraud, except that the communication occurs by wire rather than by the U.S. Postal Service or a private or commercial carrier, such as Federal Express and UPS. The four elements required for wire fraud are as follows:
- Intent to defraud another existed
- Participation was voluntary
- Intent included the use of interstate wire communications
- Wire communications were actually used
At times a case is straightforward, but at other times, the details are complex. However, as long as it involves wire communications, the government can bring wire charges against you.
Defense for wire fraud
An experienced defense team has several options for client defense. The first is that the case lacks the intent to cheat a person out of property or cash. Exaggeration of fact or sales puffery does not necessarily equate to fraud.
If you unknowingly make false statements or misrepresentations, you may not be liable for fraud. For a conviction, the government must prove the goal of the false information was for fraudulent purposes..
Any evidence illegally obtained may result in the prosecutor dropping charges. If the alleged scheme did not use wire communication in connection with fraud, those charges might not stand up in court. A strong defense can result in eliminating charges or reducing a sentence.