23 Jun 20

Wire Fraud Laws, Charges & Statute of Limitations

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Last Updated on: 5th August 2023, 07:54 pm

Fraud can have many definitions and take on many different forms depending on how the crime was committed. Wire fraud is considered a federal crime and will attract the attention of the FBI who will investigate the case. Each state has laws in place as well to protect consumers and residents from different types of scams. These crimes can take the guise of phishing where emails are sent out to look like official correspondence from a financial institution. It may also include bank fraud, tax fraud, or insurance fraud.

Wire Fraud Laws

When it comes to defining wire fraud, we use a broad brush. Think of anything that uses wires like the internet, your landline phone, or a radio. All of these devices when used to commit fraud can constitute wire fraud. Once a criminal has broken state laws regarding committing fraud, a wire fraud charge will make sure they also face federal charges to increase the likelihood of a conviction.

The Parts of Wire Fraud

To determine if wire fraud was committed, courts will look at several aspects of the case. It can be seen in the “U.S. Department of Justice Criminal Resource Manual” section 941.18 U.S.C. 1343. If a man approaches you in person to invest in a business and then defrauds you later by taking your initial investment, this would not necessarily be wire fraud. The judicial system will look for the following aspects:

-Wired communications were done with the defendant over the phone, internet, television, faxes or radio.
-The victim had their money or property taken through fraud.
-Interstate communications were used to gain the trust of the victim.

With all of these elements together, the criminal will be facing federal charges which come with harsher penalties in general.

Wire Fraud Charges

Many crimes will fall under the umbrella of wire fraud since much of our communication now is no longer just done in person. This can include the following:

Insurance Fraud. An effort to deceive an insurance company through false claims. The criminal may say that damages to their belongings or property are more severe than they really are. At times, the insured party may also damage or destroy their own property to receive money from the insurance company. At the same time, an insurance company can also be charged with not paying out the correct amount for a claim or trying to deny a claim that should have gone through.

Bank Fraud. This can be any activity that deceives a financial institution or the customers for a financial institution. The scam can involve a person posing as a bank employee or a representative of the bank. Some hackers have been known to replace wire instructions for mortgage banks with their own wiring instructions to trick borrowers and have funds from a closing sent to them.

Tax Fraud. Intentionally lying on tax returns to lower your obligation to the government. This can involve taking deductions for expenses that were not related to your business or forging receipts to make it seem like you spent more than you did.

Ponzi Scheme. A Ponzi Scheme is used like a pyramid with people at the bottom funding investors at the top. Many extensive Ponzi Schemes have come to light which seemed like valid investments for years. Eventually, this type of scheme will fall as the amount of people entering at the bottom of the pyramid can no longer support paying out funds to the people at the top that expect above average returns.

Penalties for Wire Fraud

The federal crime of wire fraud can sentence an individual to prison for no more than 20 years and fines that total $250,000. If an organization was involved in the fraud, the limit on fines is then increased to $500,000. Wire fraud done in association with a state of emergency can increase prison time to 30 years and fines are capped at a million dollars.

The Statute of Limitations

Wire fraud charges must be initiated in a five year time span. If a bank or financial institution was involved, this time span is increased to 10 years. The victim does not need to be successfully defrauded for charges to be brought against the criminal or group involved. If a court can prove the intent was to defraud and wired communications were used, then this would still fall under wire fraud.

Understanding Wire Fraud: Spodek Law Group and Attorney Todd Spodek Can Help You Fight Back

Wire fraud is a serious federal crime that can take on various forms, including phishing scams, bank fraud, tax fraud, and insurance fraud. If you or your business is facing wire fraud charges, it’s crucial to understand the legal implications and consequences of such charges. At Spodek Law Group, our experienced attorneys led by Attorney Todd Spodek can help you navigate the legal process and defend your rights.

What Is Wire Fraud?

Wire fraud involves using wired communication like landline phones, radios or the internet to commit fraudulent activities. It’s an umbrella term that encompasses a wide range of fraudulent activities aimed at defrauding victims of their property or money through deceitful means.

The Elements Of Wire Fraud

To determine if wire fraud was committed in a case involving wired communications like phone calls, faxes or emails used to gain trust from victims while committing fraudulent acts resulting in loss of property or money for them; courts will look at various aspects of the case. The federal government takes wire fraud seriously as it carries harsh penalties when found guilty.

Types Of Wire Fraud Charges

Wire fraud comes in different forms such as insurance fraud where individuals deceive insurance companies through false claims; bank fraud which involves deceiving financial institutions or customers; tax evasion where individuals intentionally lie on their tax returns to lower their tax obligation; Ponzi schemes use pyramid scheme-like structures with investors funding those at the top.

Penalties For Wire Fraud

If convicted for wirefraud one could face severe consequences such as prison sentences up to 20 years with fines reaching $250000 but if an organization is involved then these fines increase up to $500000. In cases involving state emergencies penalties may reach maximums of 30 years imprisonment along with fines up to $1 million.

Statute Of Limitations

Charges related to wirefraud must be initiated within five years, but if a bank or financial institution is involved, the statute of limitations increases to 10 years. Even if the victim isn’t successfully defrauded, charges can still be brought against individuals or groups involved in wire fraud cases where intent to defraud and wired communications are proven.

Wire Fraud Charges And Penalties

The table below shows the penalties for wire fraud:

Charge Penalty
Prison Sentence Up to 20 years (up to 30 years in a state of emergency)
Fines Up to $250,000 ($1 million in a state of emergency)

Why Choose Spodek Law Group?

Choosing an attorney who understands your case’s complexities is essential when facing serious charges like wire fraud. At Spodek Law Group led by Attorney Todd Spodek, our team has extensive experience handling such cases and providing legal representation that you need.

Our firm understands how emotionally and financially draining it can be when charged with wire fraud. That’s why we provide compassionate yet aggressive representation aimed at achieving the best possible outcome for our clients. We work tirelessly building strong defense strategies using compelling language while exhibiting professionalism throughout every aspect of our work.

We use show don’t tell language backed up by evidence proving our client’s innocence while leveraging our experience handling similar legal situations. Our attorneys will guide you through every step of the process ensuring that you understand your options fully.

In Conclusion,

Wire fraud is a severe federal crime carrying harsh penalties; thus seeking experienced attorneys’ help is crucial when facing such charges. At Spodek Law Group led by Attorney Todd Spodek, we have what it takes to navigate this complex legal process while defending your rights effectively. Contact us today for consultation services aimed at helping you achieve favorable outcomes in your case.

Get In Touch With Spodek Law Group

At Spodek Law Group, we understand how important personalized attention coupled with aggressive representation can impact the outcome of your case. If you or someone you know is facing wire fraud charges, don’t hesitate to contact us today.

Our attorneys have the experience and knowledge needed to handle even the most complex wire fraud cases, and we are here to help you navigate this legal process while defending your rights effectively. Contact us today for a consultation aimed at helping you achieve favorable outcomes in your case.


The content provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice. It’s essential always to consult with an attorney for guidance specific to your situation since Spodek Law Group isn’t responsible for any actions taken based on information provided in this article.