Wire fraud charges can bring severe prison sentences and fines, and without the right attorney you may find yourself anxious about the results of your case. The wire fraud statute, 18 USC 1343, has been used as a catch all device by the federal government to punish all manner of crimes that are not otherwise specifically targeted. The maximum penalty for wire fraud is 20 years in prison and a fine.
If you or someone you love has been charged with wire fraud, please call our offices today. Our dedicated and experienced wire fraud attorneys may be able to get your charges reduced or dropped. Call us today for a free consultation.
Wire fraud is also a predicate crime for both the Wiretap Act and the RICO Act. Wire fraud charges can be combined with other more definite crimes like insider trading, securities fraud, and conspiracy to enhance their severity. Some of the generalized and non-specific conduct that the wire fraud statute can potentially punish includes, but, is not limited to: insurance scams done over the internet, Ponzi schemes, online classified ad used car frauds, insider trading tipping done through disguised and encrypted emails, fake loan application forms used to steal people’s identities, emails with hidden virus attachments, check kiting, and different kinds of public corruption scams.
Wire fraud requires that the defendant actually cause wires to be used. When exactly does a criminal defendant use the wires? The government does not actually need to prove that a defendant used wires themselves on a particular day, at a particular time. It is sufficient that wire transfers or transmissions are generally done in the typical type of business that the defendant completed the fraud through. A good example would be a hacking scam where a virus is sent in an email to a victim. The victim clicks on the file containing the virus, which then scans their computer and steals the victim’s personal information. The prosecution would not need to prove that the defendant used wires to send the email. It is obvious that wires are the only way that such an email could get to the victim.
There are two common defenses to wire fraud, good faith and the statute of limitations. A defendant can proffer evidence that the fraudulent statements the prosecution accuses the defendants of making were in fact made in good faith, and that the defendant believed that they were true. This defense must be supported by strong evidence and should not be undertaken lightly. It will open the gate for the government rebut the defendant’s evidence with new evidence of their own that may be even stronger. To argue this defense our aggressive and experienced federal criminal trial lawyers will choose only the strongest evidence to help win your case.
Wire fraud has a 5-year statute of limitations. Statutes of limitations always make for strong defenses when they may be raised. Busy judges look for procedural vehicles to clear their dockets, particularly in the very busy federal courts of New York. The statute of limitations in a wire fraud case begins the 5-year period at the of the very last act of fraud. Experienced attorneys know that the point at which a statute of limitations begins running and ends is a matter of contention. There may be evidence in a defendant’s case that places the final act of fraud outside the statute of limitations. The government may not have a right to prosecute that defendant at all. This is where the right attorney can make all the difference.
If you or someone you love has been accused of wire fraud, please call our offices today and speak with one of our experienced and knowledgeable New York wire fraud attorneys. We may be able to help you get your wire fraud charges dismissed or reduced. Call our offices today for a free consultation.