Federal Wire Fraud Defense
Involve a St. Louis Federal Crime Lawyer
Wire fraud is an extremely serious federal crime that carries some of the steepest penalties upon a conviction. According to 18 U.S. Code § 1343, fraud by wire, radio or television, a person who commits this crime may face up to 20 years in prison. If the intended or actual victim of such fraud is a financial institution, the penalties may increase to up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million.
If you are looking for hard-hitting defense counsel in the face of federal charges for wire fraud or any similar offense, you need look no further than The Hammer Law Firm, LLC. These complex cases require the undivided attention of a team that has the resources and experience to face off against seasoned federal prosecutors and federal agencies that have seemingly limitless resources to dedicate to the investigation and prosecution of alleged offenders. With our skill and commitment, you can rest assured that your case will be in good hands when you entrust it to a St. Louis federal crime lawyer at our firm.
Let us take a closer look at wire fraud and how this offense is defined under federal law. According to 18 USC § 1343, the following acts are described as "fraud by wire, radio or television:"
Whoever, having devised or intending to devise any scheme or artifice to defraud, or for obtaining money or property by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises, transmits or causes to be transmitted by means of wire, radio, or television communication in interstate or foreign commerce, any writings, signs, signals, pictures, or sounds for the purpose of executing such scheme or artifice shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.
The section goes on to discuss enhanced penalties for defrauding or attempting to defraud a financial institution or for a scheme involving a presidentially declared major disaster or emergency. In these scenarios, a defendant may face up to 30 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $1 million.
Wire Fraud Explained
What is unique about wire fraud charges, and fraud charges in general, is that they may be filed even if the alleged scheme is unsuccessful or is not actually completed. As long as the scheme was devised and some step was taken toward its completion, a defendant may be charged. Wire fraud charges may apply if any type of wire, radio or television was used to relay information or communication related to the scheme. A fraudulent television ad or scheme using email or online advertising may be considered wire fraud.
Wire fraud charges may also be filed in conjunction with other federal crimes or white collar crimes, such as RICO violations, tax fraud, bank fraud or conspiracy. The alleged commission of connected crimes may only increase the potential term of imprisonment, fines and restitution a defendant may face. Defendants in these cases may also face federal seizure of property and assets and other complex issues unique to federal cases.
If you have been contacted by federal investigators, have been charged with wire fraud or have any reason to believe you are the subject of a fraud investigation, you need to move quickly to protect your interests. Call a St. Louis federal criminal defense attorney at our firm for experienced insight and find out what we can do to assert your rights. We may be able to begin counteracting the investigation and can take steps to help you avoid an arrest or formal charges in the first place. Taking a proactive approach is the best way to address legal matters of this kind. To get started, contact our offices for a confidential consultation.