California does not treat fraud lightly. It does not matter what the type of fraud is of which you stand accused. If convicted, the penalties you may face could be quite severe.
Wire fraud has been around for quite some time. However, how those running such schemes conduct business has changed with technological advances. Due to the great number of people who are typically harmed by this type of fraud, prosecuting attorneys will request maximum punishment if they are able to secure a conviction. As this could drastically alter the course of your life, how you fight the charges against you in court is really going to matter.
What wire fraud is
Simply put, wire fraud is using some form of electronic communication to defraud a person out of his or her money. This used to be done primarily via phone calls or emails. However, social media accounts, commercials and hacking devices connected to free WiFi hotspots are now common ways to commit wire fraud.
Wire fraud elements
To be convicted on a wire fraud charge, certain elements must exist in your case. The four known elements of wire fraud are:
- The accused purposely started or joined in on a project meant to defraud others.
- The accused showed intent to defraud.
- Proof exists that the accused used electronic communications to carry out the scheme.
- The plan was ultimately carried out.
As is true with any criminal case, intent and action are both necessary elements in order for prosecuting attorneys to win their cases. Supplying proof of intent and action, though, is not always easy.
What wire fraud is not
Wire fraud is not a business owner offering a service and having trouble meeting his or her promise. Wire fraud is not advertising for events or services. There must be intent to defraud and intent to financially harm another person. Unfortunately, in some cases, hardworking business owners face accusations of wire fraud by unhappy consumers.
Get help fighting a wire fraud charge
Wire fraud is a federal offense. If convicted, the potential penalties may include a lengthy imprisonment and steep fines — among others. Having a criminal defense attorney who has experience handling federal cases is a must if facing this type of charge. With the right help, you can do all that is necessary to fight for the best outcome possible.