Understanding the Broad Scope of Wire Fraud Allegations
Wire fraud allegations are a common thread in federal criminal investigations. The federal wire fraud statute, enacted in 1952 to combat fraudulent schemes conducted through various communication channels, has evolved to encompass the use of the Internet and private electronic means. At Garrity Traina, our experienced wire fraud attorneys help clients navigate the complex legal landscape and avoid the severe penalties associated with federal wire fraud charges.
The Expansive Reach of the Federal Wire Fraud Statute
The federal wire fraud statute is incredibly expansive. Its application extends to a wide range of federal offenses involving allegations of wire fraud, such as healthcare fraud, securities fraud, government contract fraud, mail fraud, tax fraud, bank fraud, insurance fraud, RICO violations, money laundering, and consumer fraud schemes. Federal prosecutors often add charges of mail fraud and conspiracy to wire fraud cases. These charges alone can result in substantial fines and decades-long prison sentences.
Defining Wire Fraud: Forms of Communication and Activities
According to 18 U.S.C. § 1343, wire fraud involves the transmission of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises via wire, radio, or television communication in interstate or foreign commerce. The term “wire” includes various forms of communication, including electronic communication and the Internet. Examples of wire fraud include fraudulent emails, phone calls, text messages, spam, telemarketing, phishing, falsified invoices, misrepresentations on websites and social media, fraudulent online sales and auctions, and deceptive lotteries and sweepstakes promotions.
Potential Defenses Against Federal Wire Fraud Allegations
Challenging wire fraud allegations requires a strong defense strategy. Our wire fraud attorneys have extensive experience utilizing various defenses, including:
- Constructive Fraud: Demonstrating that you did not intentionally engage in fraudulent activity can be a complete defense.
- Good Faith: Challenging the government’s evidence and casting doubt on your intent to commit fraud or engage in fraudulent schemes.
- Lack of Authority: Establishing that fraudulent conduct occurred without authorization at the corporate, executive, or ownership levels.
- Lack of Purpose: Requiring evidence that the communications were sent with the purpose of perpetrating a fraudulent scheme.
- Statute of Limitations: Asserting that the time for prosecuting wire fraud charges based on underlying allegations has expired.
It is crucial to understand that these defenses are specific to the interpretation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343. Additional common law and constitutional defenses may also apply.
Industries Affected by Wire Fraud Charges
Federal prosecutors frequently pursue wire fraud charges in cases involving various federal crimes. Our wire fraud lawyers have successfully defended clients facing wire fraud allegations in cases related to:
Healthcare providers, telemedicine companies, testing laboratories, and other entities billing Medicare, Medicaid, and other government benefit programs often face wire fraud allegations alongside charges under the False Claims Act, Anti-Kickback Statute, and healthcare fraud statute.
Government Contract Fraud
Government contractors, including those in the construction and military sectors, face federal oversight. Allegations of product substitution, billing fraud, and other contract violations can result in wire fraud investigations with potential fines and imprisonment.
Securities fraud allegations, such as financial advisor fraud and filing false statements with the SEC, often involve wire fraud charges. Violations like the promotion and sale of unregistered securities or insider trading can trigger wire fraud allegations.
Other Fraud-Based Crimes
Federal law criminalizes numerous forms of fraud, including bank fraud, insurance fraud, mortgage fraud, and tax fraud. All types of fraud allegations can potentially lead to charges for wire fraud.
Money laundering and wire fraud share broad definitions, often intersecting in federal criminal cases. Our attorneys handle cases involving money laundering, mail and wire fraud, and other financial and fraud-related crimes.
Public Corruption and Bribery
Investigations involving public corruption and bribery usually implicate the federal wire fraud statute alongside other statutes. Parties involved in such cases may face severe consequences under statutes such as 18 U.S.C. § 201, 18 U.S.C. § 371, and 18 U.S.C. § 641.
Your Trusted Wire Fraud Defense Attorneys
If you are under investigation for federal wire fraud, it is crucial to seek the guidance of a knowledgeable wire fraud attorney. At Garrity Traina, we offer dedicated federal criminal defense representation. Our wire fraud attorneys have a proven track record of protecting our clients’ rights and reputations. To discuss your case with one of our experienced attorneys, call us at 888-680-1745 or request a complimentary case assessment online now.
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