Protecting Your Rights When Facing Serious Federal Criminal Charges
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What is wire fraud?

On Behalf of | Feb 18, 2020 | Firm News |

“The speed of business” is a term often used to emphasize the importance of you conducting your commercial activities in a timely manner. In many cases, such action will not be limited to Pittsboro, but rather require that you engage in commerce with clients in surrounding local areas and even other states. Telecommunications makes this possible, yet also introduces the potential for accusations of criminal activity. If your business dealings do not produce the results that clients anticipate (and when your dealings with them have involved digital or electronic communications), you could find yourself the target of accusations of wire fraud. 

This particular type of fraud differs from other fraud allegations in that it involves the use of interstate phone lines. That includes both phone calls and any virtual communications via the Internet. If you use such mediums when arranging deals with clients, then such transactions are said to have occurred over the wire, hence the resulting charge of wire fraud. Because telephone lines run across state lines, cases of wire fraud are prosecuted at the federal level. 

Yet simply because your wire communications resulted in a loss for your partner does not mean that you committed fraud. Indeed, it must be proven that your actions met the federal standard of fraud. According to U.S. Department of Justice, the elements of wire fraud are: 

  • You voluntarily and intentionally engaging in actions meant to defraud another 
  • Your primary intent in such actions being to perpetrate a fraud 
  • It being reasonably foreseeable that wire communications would be required in carrying out the alleged scheme 
  • Interstate wire communications indeed being used to complete your actions   

You likely notice that intent is an underlying theme in these elements. Unless it is proven that your intentions were malicious, you cannot be found guilty of fraud.