Tampa Wire Fraud Lawyer
Wire fraud is a federal crime consisting of the use of electronic communication in connection with a fraudulent scheme. As with mail fraud, the statute is broad enough to cover many types of conduct and carries long prison terms and fines as penalties. Our seasoned Tampa wire fraud lawyers understand how to defend these cases, and we will gladly review your case to discuss possible defenses. Call O’Mara Law Group today.
The Federal Wire Fraud Statute
The federal law is found at 18 U.S.C. § 1343, which lays out the elements a prosecutor must prove to secure a conviction. Essentially, the law requires using an electronic device such as a radio, telephone, or other audio-visual communication across state lines as part of a fraudulent scheme to obtain money, property, or assets using false pretenses.
Given the advances in technology, wire fraud charges are cropping up more and more in federal indictments. Some examples of wire fraud include:
- Sending a phishing email
- Wiring illegally-obtained funds
- Creating a fraudulent website to accept donations
- Catfishing using social media accounts
- Sending an email as part of a fraudulent scheme
In sum, any fraudulent scheme that makes use of interstate wire or electronic communication can result in wire fraud charges.
Punishment for Wire Fraud
Wire fraud carries steep penalties for those convicted: up to 20 years in prison and fines up to $500,000, depending on the circumstances. When a defendant defrauds a financial institution such as a bank, then fines increase to $1,000,000 and time in prison balloons to up to 30 years.
These are serious penalties for one count of wire fraud. And remember: the fraudulent scheme does not actually need to succeed. So long as a defendant knowingly participates in the scheme to defraud, he or she could spend decades in jail.
Defenses to Wire Fraud
The best defense will depend on the facts of the case. For example, some defendant did not have the requisite intent to defraud. Maybe they did not fully understand the fraudulent nature of the scheme, which could have been hatched by another. Although it’s not a defense to claim you weren’t the “ringleader” of the scheme, it is a defense if you did not act with the intent to defraud.
Another defense is that the false statements were not made knowingly. For example, you might have misstated financial information while raising money through a website. If the misstatements were innocent, then you likely did not commit fraud.
In other cases, we can argue that the evidence is insufficient to establish fraud or that evidence was illegally obtained without a search warrant. If a judge tosses evidence out of court, many prosecutions collapse due to lack of evidence.
Hire the Right Tampa Wire Fraud Defense Attorney
Prosecutors often tack wire fraud charges onto indictments with other criminal charges, such as conspiracy or health care fraud. Defendants need confident legal counsel to fight back and protect their freedom. At O’Mara Law Group, our Tampa wire fraud lawyers are ready and waiting to discuss your case. Contact us today.