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Federal Wire Fraud

Wire fraud relates to the use of electronic communications to carry out a scheme which seeks to unlawfully acquire money or property.

Wire Fraud is codified pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 1343:

“Whoever, having devised or intending to devise any scheme or artifice to defraud, or for obtaining money or property by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises, transmits or causes to be transmitted by means of wire, radio, or television communication in interstate or foreign commerce, any writings, signs, signals, pictures, or sounds for the purpose of executing such scheme or artifice, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both. If the violation occurs in relation to, or involving any benefit authorized, transported, transmitted, transferred, disbursed, or paid in connection with, a presidentially declared major disaster or emergency or affects a financial institution, such person shall be fined not more than $1,000,000 or imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both.”

Courts have generally held that there are three elements that must be proven in order to convict a defendant of wire fraud.

  • The government must prove that there was a scheme to defraud.
  • The defendant must have knowingly and willingly participated in the scheme with the intent to defraud.
  • Interstate wire communications were used to further the scheme.

A person who is convicted of Wire Fraud faces a sentence of up to 20 years in a federal prison and a fine.  If the scheme involved defrauding a financial institution, a conviction may result in a 30 year sentence and a $1,000,000 fine.

For a free consultation to see how David J. Sobel can defend you, contact Mr. Sobel at 954-383-3000.  You will be able to speak directly with Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Lawyer David J. Sobel 24/7.