What Are Federal Wire Fraud Crimes?

Federal Wire Fraud Crimes

Federal wire fraud crimes in Jefferson City are taken very seriously. Wire fraud is committed when a person voluntarily and intentionally defrauds or attempts to defraud someone while using an interstate communication device (like a cell phone) to further their scheme. 

If you’ve been charged with federal wire fraud crimes, it’s in your best interest to consult with an experienced wire fraud lawyer in Missouri today. Defendants convicted of federal wire fraud offenses face fines and prison sentences. 

At Kirsch & Kirsch, our team of Missouri criminal defense lawyers is here to listen to your side of things, advocate for your rights, and mount an aggressive defense on your behalf. 

Don’t face a high-powered federal prosecution effort on your own. Contact us today at 573-222-0826 for your free, confidential consultation. 

Learn more about federal wire fraud crimes in Missouri below. 

What is Wire Fraud? 

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the elements of wire fraud and mail fraud are the same except that wire fraud requires the use of “interstate telephone” or “electronic communication” to perpetrate the crime. 

Penalties for federal wire fraud charges in Missouri include up to  20 years in prison and potentially $250,000 in fines. In special circumstances, judges can sentence individuals convicted of wire fraud up to 30 years in prison. 

The three elements of federal wire fraud are:

  1. Scheme to Defraud Others
  2. Intent to Commit Fraud
  3. Use of Interstate Communications to Commit Fraud

Learn more about each below. 

Scheme to Defraud Others

Federal wire fraud is not an accidental crime. Generally, the prosecution must prove that defendants committed or attempted to defraud a person of their money, property, or any other asset. 

A person convicted of federal wire fraud charges must be involved in a “scheme” to defraud others. That means that there must be a statement, false promise, or other evidence of deception to defraud a person of something of value. 

Intent to Commit Fraud

The prosecution may find it difficult to convict you if they cannot prove that you explicitly intended to commit fraud. Merely participating in a federal wire fraud scheme is not always enough to guarantee a conviction. However, it is still possible to be convicted of wire fraud if you’re “recklessly indifferent.” 

For example, if you guarantee that your product will earn someone a 10x investment, but you lack evidence of your claims. That could be considered “reckless indifference,” depending on the circumstances of your case. 

Frequently, the prosecution will offer a plea bargain to defendants who they don’t have sufficient evidence against to convict in a trial. That’s why it’s essential to consult with a Missouri wire fraud attorney before accepting any deals. 

Use of Interstate Communications to Commit Fraud

What separates federal wire fraud from mail fraud is the use of interstate communications devices to further the scheme. That can include any type of electronic device used to communicate such as cell phones, laptops, tablets, T.V., radio, etc. 

The use of interstate communications devices doesn’t have to play a significant role in the crime for it to be considered federal wire fraud. It just has to be used to “further the crime” in any manner. For example, if you are planning to defraud others over a text message conversation, that could be considered federal wire fraud. 

Examples of Wire Fraud in Missouri 

Federal wire fraud encompasses a wide range of fraudulent activities. Essentially, any kind of fraudulent act involving an interstate communication device can be considered wire fraud. Some of the most popular examples of wire fraud include:

  • Insurance fraud
  • Tax fraud 
  • Credit card schemes
  • Bitcoin schemes 
  • Identity theft
  • Telemarketing schemes
  • Internet and Phishing scams 

Many wire fraud schemes are obvious to the general population. However, some schemes are much more challenging to uncover. 

Contact a Federal Wire Fraud Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

Federal wire fraud is a serious offense that can lead to 20+ years in prison if convicted. If you’ve been charged or are under investigation for wire fraud in Jefferson City, it’s in your best interest to consult with a federal criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. 

Our criminal defense lawyers in Jefferson City, Missouri, have the skills, experience, and knowledge to mount a strong defense on your behalf. 

Don’t wait until it’s too late to seek legal counsel. Contact the wire fraud lawyers at Kirsch & Kirsch today at 573-222-0826 for your free, confidential consultation.