If you are under investigation or are facing charges of wire fraud by the federal government, you need aggressive legal representation from a highly trained and experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. A conviction of wire fraud comes with severe penalties and with the seemingly endless resources the U.S. government has to investigate and prosecute these offenses, contacting an attorney immediately becomes even more important.
At Sandman, Finn, & Fitzhugh, we have over 650 years of combined legal experience that includes serving as Wake County Assistant District Attorneys as well as defending clients from charges in state and federal courts. We are able to blend our knowledge, experience, and dedication to our clients to do everything possible to help our clients win their case.
Defining Wire Fraud
A person commits wire fraud when he or she intentionally attempts to, or succeeds in, defrauding another person of something of value using an interstate communication device. In more layman’s terms, it means misleading, misrepresenting, or lying to someone over the phone, television, or radio, or via fax, email, or social media in an attempt to have them send you money, property, or valuable information, like a credit card number or social security number.
Wire fraud is a federal crime because it relies on interstate communication lines in order to be committed. While someone may only be charged with wire fraud, it is often charged in conjunction with other crimes, such as identity theft, mail fraud, or extortion. Also, every act of wire fraud can be charged as an individual offense, so if a person sends out 100 fraudulent emails, he or she can be charged with 100 separate counts of wire fraud.
EXAMPLES OF WIRE FRAUD
Wire fraud is a very broad crime that can involve incredibly complex schemes or be very simple. Some examples of wire fraud include:
- “Phishing,” or setting up a realistic-looking website or sending out an email that appears legitimate in order to gain information from visitors, which is then used for a criminal act.
- Telemarketing, such as claiming the respondent has won a non-existent prize but must pay a fee in order to get it.
- Claiming to be from the IRS and calling people telling them they need to pay an additional or late tax.
- Sending an email claiming to be a foreign prince in exile who needs money.
- Making false claims via phone, email, or website about a product or service in an intent to defraud.
FILING A FALSE TAX RETURN
In Broken Arrow, OK, Brandy Okey was charged with wire fraud and filing a false tax return in the Northern District of Oklahoma Federal Court. According to documents, Okey embezzled money from her employer through taking money from cash deposits. In order to hide the theft, she electronically transmitted a falsified report to the company’s board of directors. In addition to wire fraud for the falsified document, she was charged with filing a false tax return in 2017 for not reporting the money she gained through embezzlement.
Penalties for Wire Fraud
Individuals who are convicted of wire fraud can face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. However, if the fraud relates to targeting victims of a federally-declared state of emergency or disaster area or the victim is a financial institution, the penalty can extend to 30 years in prison and a one million dollar fine.
Contacting a Wire Fraud Attorney in Raleigh
Federal investigators and prosecutors have the resources necessary to launch in-depth investigations against people they suspect of committing wire fraud and they are able to tirelessly work to convict defendants. You need a wire fraud attorney in Raleigh who will fight on your behalf with the same intensity and tireless focus whether we’re launching our own investigation, interviewing witnesses, creating a legal strategy, or defending you in court.
Whether you are under investigation or have already been charged, the time to act is now. To contact our legal team for representation in the Eastern District of North Carolina, which includes Raleigh, Greenville, Fayetteville, and Robeson County, and set up a free consultation, call (919) 887-8040 or fill out our contact form to get started!