3 Examples of Wire Fraud that Can Lead to Federal Criminal Charges

Posted on in Fraud

b2ap3_thumbnail_chicago-federal-crimes-attorney_20220603-142742_1.jpgFederal charges are often penalized more harshly than state level offenses. If you are convicted of a federal offense, you may be sentenced to years or even decades in prison. Federal wire fraud charges can be penalized by up to 20 years in prison and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. If the fraud harmed a financial institution or involves a presidentially-declared emergency, the prison sentence can be up to 30 years.

If you or a loved one were charged with wire fraud, contact a federal criminal defense lawyer for help right away.

Federal Law on Wire Fraud

According to federal law, wire fraud occurs when:

  • An individual knowingly participated in a scheme to defraud another party out of money

  • The individual committed the act with an intent to defraud

  • It was foreseeable that interstate wire communications would be used to defraud

  • Interstate wire communications were used to defraud

Wire fraud may involve interaction through phone, email, text messaging, online messaging, faxes, or another form of telecommunication.

Acts That Can Constitute Wire Fraud

Wire fraud can involve any type of fraudulent activity that uses interstate communication through phone, internet communication, or other means. Some people end up involved in fraudulent activities or scams without even realizing what is happening. They end up confused, embarrassed and facing wire fraud charges for their involvement.

Examples of popular wire fraud schemes include:

  • Nigerian prince scam – In this scam, an individual pretends to be a Nigerian prince or another person of political importance or royalty in order to trick someone else into handing over their banking information or other private information.

  • Romance scam – An individual meets someone online or through a dating app and requests money for a seemingly legitimate cause such as a medical procedure or travel expenses. However, the romantic relationship is fabricated and the person requesting money is not who he or she claims to be.

  • Fake contest winner – The victim in this scam is informed that he or she won money through a contest or sweepstakes of some kind. They are sent a check but told that they must pay a processing fee to obtain their winnings. The victim sends the money for the processing fee but the check with their alleged prize money bounces.

Contact a Chicago Wire Fraud Defense Lawyer

If you were accused of participating in a scheme or fraudulent activity using the internet or other forms of communication, you could face jail time for wire fraud. Contact Cook County federal criminal defense lawyer Hal M. Garfinkel for help defending yourself against the charges. Call 312-629-0669 for a free consultation.


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