Wire fraud is a serious federal criminal offense that is similar to mail fraud, but that requires the use of an interstate telephone call or electronic communication. A conviction for wire fraud could subject you to a prison term of up to 20 years and/or a hefty fine. If you are the target of a federal wire fraud investigation, or have already been accused of wire fraud, it is imperative that you take the situation seriously and take steps to protect yourself and your future.
At Haas Law, we have the experience and resources necessary to aggressively step in and guard your interests during a federal investigation and defend you if you are formally charged with wire fraud by the federal government.
What Is Wire Fraud?
Governed by 18 U.S. Code § 1343, wire fraud covers a broad range of conduct that involve an intent to defraud using electronic communications. To prove wire fraud, the government must prove all the following four elements:
- That the defendant voluntarily and intentionally devised or participated in a scheme to defraud another out of money.
- That the defendant did so with the intent to defraud
- That it was reasonably foreseeable that interstate wire communications would be used.
- That interstate wire communications were in fact used.
Common examples of conduct charged as wire fraud including telemarketing fraud, internet scams, phishing emails, and fraudulent schemes carried out over the television, telephone, or internet. It is important to note that you could be convicted of wire fraud even if you did not personally send a fraudulent wire, radio, or television transmission as well as if you never reaped the benefits of a fraud scheme.
What to Do If You Are Accused of Wire Fraud
Although the federal justice system operates in fundamentally the same way as state systems, there are some important differences. Chief among those differences is the fact that federal law enforcement agencies typically have noticeably more resources available to conduct criminal investigations. That means that if you have already been charged with wire fraud, the federal government likely has considerable evidence against you. Another important difference is that in a federal criminal investigation a suspect may receive a “target letter” from the government informing them that they are the target of a criminal investigation. If you have received a target letter, or you have been formally charged with wire fraud, the following steps can help protect you and your future:
- Read the target letter carefully. Always take a target letter seriously. The letter will inform you of the nature of the investigation and your suspected role in it. It may also request documents and/or your appearance in front of a grand jury. Shoe the letter to your attorney at your initial consultation.
- Do not hide or destroy evidence. It can be tempting to try and get rid of any potentially incriminating evidence when you realize you are being accused of wire fraud. Resist that temptation because doing so could lead to additional criminal charges.
- Do not discuss the situation with anyone other than your attorney. Most alleged fraud schemes involve multiple defendants. Your initial instinct may be to talk to them about the situation. Do not discuss the investigation/prosecution with any other potential defendants – or with anyone else. A co-defendant could decide to cooperate to get a reduced sentence, meaning they agree to testify against you. Even close friends and family could be forced by the prosecution to testify against you which is why you should never tell them anything incriminating.
- Contact an experienced federal wire fraud defense attorney. If you have been accused of wire fraud, you have several important rights, including the right against self-incrimination, the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, and the right to an attorney. To make sure that your rights are protected throughout the investigation and prosecution of your case you need to contact an experienced federal wire fraud defense attorney right away.
Get Help from an Experienced Federal Wire Fraud Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with wire fraud by the federal government, or you have reason to believe you are a suspect in a wire fraud investigation, the best thing you can do for yourself is to retain the services of an experienced federal wire fraud defense attorney as soon as possible.
At Haas Law, we have extensive experience protecting the rights of those who are the target of a federal law enforcement investigation for wire fraud. We also have the skills and resources to mount an aggressive defense if you have been formally accused of wire fraud by the federal government.
Call us at 407-755-7675, chat with us online, or submit our online form today. Because we understand that time is of the essence when federal law enforcement authorities are investigating you, our calls are answered 24 hours a day, allowing you to schedule an appointment as soon as possible to discuss your legal options.