Los Angeles Wire Fraud Attorney
Common Elements in Fraud Cases
According to US federal code - Chapter 47 - fraud can entail any situation involving false statements for the purpose of personal gain. Under common law, fraud consists of nine elements:
- Representation of an existing fact
- The significance of the fact to the issue at hand
- The falsity of the fact
- The speaker's awareness of its falsity
- The speaker's intent that it will be acted upon by another party
- The other party's ignorance of its falsity
- The other party's dependence on the truth of the representation
- The other party's right to rely upon it
- Subsequent damages or losses suffered
Fraud is a federal crime in which the prosecution must provide clear and convincing evidence of each element in order to gain a conviction. An experienced and thorough wire fraud attorney is vital in defending fraud charges and the penalties they incur, which can include fines, restitution and prison sentences.
What Is Wire Fraud?
Wire fraud is similar to other white collar crimes as it involves a fraudulent scheme and the specific intent to obtain money, property or any private assets using false information or non-existent promises.
Title 18 of the US code, section 1343, requires the use of a medium such as telephone, radio, or electronic or audio-visual communication across state lines for a crime to be charged as wire fraud.
Essentially, if you participated in a scheme or act to defraud others and used any form of interstate electronic or wire communication, you can be prosecuted for wire fraud, even if the scheme did not actually defraud anyone.
Some examples of acts that may be considered wire fraud include:
- Sending an email, text or fax to assist with fraud, such as phishing schemes
- Creating a fake website to solicit donations online
- Electronically transferring funds that were illegally obtained
As with any type of fraud, wire fraud is a federal offense punishable by fines, the repayment of gains or damages to those defrauded and imprisonment, among others.
Penalties for Wire Fraud
With the increase of technology and advancement in communication, wire fraud is being prosecuted with increasingly severe consequences. If you are convicted of wire fraud you can face outstanding fines and prison sentences of up to 20 years.
If the violation affects a financial institution you can be fined up to $1,000,000, incarcerated for a maximum of 30 years, or both. Wire fraud is a heavily penalized federal crime and should not be taken lightly.
Defenses for Wire Fraud Charges
An experienced and knowledgeable attorney can review your case to help you find the best possible defense for your charges. Some of the common defenses for wire fraud can include:
- Lack of intent
- Statements you made were not knowingly false
- No connection between mail or wire communication to fraud
- Evidence was illegally obtained
Make sure you have the representation of an attorney who understands the nuances of wire fraud charges and how they are prosecuted. Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP has a team of tough, accomplished attorneys who can help.
Do not wait to contact our firm about how Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP can help you with your case.
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