Federal Wire Fraud Defense
Under federal law, wire fraud is a very broad and a very serious federal crime. It is one of the most common white collar criminal offenses as it covers a wide variety of conduct.
If you or a loved one are facing wire fraud charges or even if you are under investigation for federal wire fraud charges, it is essential that you do not speak with federal agents until you contact an experienced federal criminal defense attorney (you can read more on why you shouldn’t speak with federal agents by clicking here). The Law Offices of Jerod Gunsberg has extensive experience in defending wire fraud cases at any stage of proceedings. Whether it is the initial call from federal agents investigating the case, trial, or sentencing. We stand ready to fight for you.
Wire Fraud Sentencing Guidelines
Wire Fraud Penalties
Wire fraud is not a crime that exists in California state courts. It is always charged in federal court and is always charged as a felony and can range from a sentence of probation to a maximum sentence of 20 years. The amount of jail time one is facing depends largely on the amount of the alleged loss the defendant’s criminal history, and a series of factors in the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines and in 18 U.S.C. 3553(a).
But first things first. How does the Government prove guilt in a wire fraud case?
What is Federal Wire Fraud?
Under 18 U.S.C. 1343 it is a crime for anyone to use any telephone, computer, television, radio, or any other communication device in interstate commerce to:
- Intend to commit fraud
- Plan or scheme to defraud or to obtain money, personal or real property by fraud
As you can see this is broad and encompasses a wide range of commerce. If there is a fraud scheme that you use any sort of electronic communication device, you can be charged with wire fraud. This includes telephone calls, emails, text messages, and advertising or solicitations on television or radio or the internet.
Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud
Related to wire fraud are conspiracy charges. Even if you are not directly involved in wire fraud, if the Government can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you entered into an agreement with another person and committed an “overt act” in furtherance of the agreement, you could be charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
Often times, someone charged with Conspiracy to commit wire fraud may not even know anyone else charged in the case. Conspiracy to commit wire fraud charges also arise in connection with financial crimes such as mortgage fraud, bank fraud, tax fraud, and Medicare fraud. People who are accused of those crimes often are also charged with wire fraud.
Federal Wire Fraud Defense
The most effective way to defend wire fraud cases is to focus on intent and materiality. In other words, did the defendant intend to commit fraud and if so, were any of his or her actions material to the committing of fraud.
Just making a false statement in connection with a financial transaction, investment opportunity or business opportunity is not enough. The statement has to be sufficiently related to the scheme and could have induced an alleged victim to get into the fraud.
How a Federal Wire Fraud Defense Attorney Can Help
The punishment for federal wire fraud can be extreme and severe. It is also easy to get in over your head with the FBI or any other federal law enforcement. These people are highly trained agents who know how to get you to incriminate yourself. Again:
Do not talk to a federal agent without first speaking with an attorney.
If you lie to a federal agent, making a false statement to a federal agent is a crime in of itself. Don’t do it. Even if you are only a witness in a wire fraud case, even if you truly had nothing to do with it, call an experienced federal criminal defense lawyer.
If you are concerned that you may have been involved in wire fraud or conspiracy to commit wire fraud or if you have been accused of being actually involved in a federal mail fraud conspiracy, experienced wire fraud lawyer Jerod Gunsberg will stand with you in defending the charges in any federal court anywhere in the United States. Contact us at (323) 633-3423 or via the secure contact form on this page. Help is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.