Federal Wire Fraud Penalties

A federal wire fraud conviction can result in large fines and an extended prison sentence. In a case where you are charged with federal wire fraud, a federal criminal defense attorney can help create a strong response to these charges and increase the chances that a person will face the least severe penalties possible.

Understanding What Constitutes Wire Fraud

There is some confusion surrounding what exactly constitutes as federal wire fraud.

Wire fraud involves an individual who intentionally and voluntarily uses any type of communication device to transmit information across state lines in an effort to fraudulently obtain something of value from another person. These devices can include cell phones, computers, tablets, or any other type of digital device.

The fraudulent act that is involved can include several different types of activity. Some of these examples include the following:

  • Creating a fake website to obtain donations from others.
  • Obtaining financial account information so that money can be transferred from a person’s bank account.
  • Utilizing a mass email with a fictional tragic story to obtain money.

There are four elements that federal prosecution must satisfy to establish a wire fraud conviction. These requirements include the following:

  • A person had the intent to defraud an individual.
  • A person intentionally or voluntarily participated in a scheme to defraud others of something of value.
  • Interstate wire communications were reasonably foreseen as a use in the fraud.
  • Interstate wire communications were used.

What Penalties can Result From a Wire Fraud Conviction

A person can face very serious penalties if he or she is convicted of wire fraud. First, it is important to understand that a person who is convicted of wire fraud can face penalties for each single fraudulent act. For one act of wire fraud, a person can expect to face the following penalties:

  • Fines up to a maximum of $250,000.
  • A prison sentence up to 20 years.

Strong Defenses to Federal Wire Fraud Charges

If you are charged with federal wire fraud, there are several defenses that you can likely raise. Some people successfully argue against federal wire fraud charges by arguing that they did not have the intent to defraud someone and instead made a mistake. Other individuals are able to prove that the evidence that is necessary for a conviction was obtained through an unlawful government search. Some people are able to successfully argue that another person actually committed the wire fraud.

Speak to a Federal Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are charged with federal wire fraud, it is critical to contact a seasoned attorney. The defense attorneys at Shein and Brandenburg have significant experience helping create legal strategies for people charged with wire fraud. Contact our law office today for a free evaluation and assistance with your case.