What is wire fraud, and what are the penalties for committing it?

One kind of fraud that you should get to know more about is called wire fraud. Wire fraud is a federal offense, which means that you could face prison time for any violation you’re convicted of.

Wire fraud’s definition is broad, which makes it easier for the government to pursue charges against those who commit fraudulent acts. There are a few elements of the crime that must be met, however.

Understanding wire fraud

Wire fraud includes transmissions of pictures, sound, signals, writing, sign or other broadcasts that result in fraud. For example, someone could call a homeowner in hopes of defrauding them by pretending to be a federal agency.

To prove that a defendant is guilty, the prosecution needs to show that:

  • The defendant participated in an activity intending to defraud another party
  • The defendant intended to defraud the other party
  • It was foreseeable, and reasonable, that they’d use wire communications to commit fraud
  • Interstate wire communications were used to commit the crime

What kinds of penalties can you face for committing wire fraud?

Penalties that you can face include fines and imprisonment. Fines may be up to $250,000 per charge for individuals and up to $500,000 for organizations. People who commit wire fraud may also face up to 20 years in prison for their actions.

Why is it important to work with a defense attorney?

Working with a defense attorney gives you the best chance of lowering the penalties against you or walking away without any penalties at all. A solid defensive strategy can make a major difference in a fraud case.