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July 9, 2020



Wire fraud is a severe government offense punishable by significant fines and up to 20 years in prison. It’s important to talk to a skilled federal defense lawyer as soon as possible and before making any statements to investigators or entangled to the criminal justice framework. Our lawyer is an experienced former government prosecutor. He will put his long experience in protecting your rights and represent you.


Wire fraud is a comprehensive crime consisting of using of any interstate electronic communications in an attempt to defraud someone of property. Electronic communications can include the telephone, the internet, radio, or television. The fraud can include any intentional craft designed to fraudulently deprive someone of money, property, or something of value.

The government does not have to show that you completed a fraudulent transaction to prosecute or convict you of wire fraud. The mere intention to take someone else’s money, property, or something of value or pretenses. Meaning you can be accused and convicted of wire fraud without actual receivership of anything from another party if you

  • Intended to deprive someone of something of value fraudulently.
  • Acted on a scheme involving a statement, promise, misrepresentation, deception, or falsehood to deprive someone of something of value.
  • Used some form of electronic communication to transmit some sound, writing, sign, signal, or pictures intended to implement the fraud scheme.


Because of the broadness of wire fraud crime, prosecutors tend to use it at times as evidence of other crimes when they think they don’t have the evidence necessary to get a conviction of the other more serious crimes. For example, if they are investigating you for serious bank or securities fraud but don’t think they have the evidence to convict you, they might also charge you with wire fraud. If the fraud involved any interstate electronic communications, the chances of getting a conviction for wire fraud are much higher than for the underlying crime.

The government does not have to prove details of the fraud scheme, which is to show that whatever was transmitted via electronic communication was in itself fraudulent, or either the fraud scheme defrauded somebody. In addition to which the government may charge you with separate counts of wire fraud every time you used a form of electronic communication to further the fraud scheme. Therefore 20 emails to part of the fraud plan can be charged with 20 acts of wire fraud.


At our law, firm charges against you thoroughly investigated, and holes in the prosecution’s case are looked for in developing strategies essential to building the best possible defense. Strategies that will depend on the case, however, some general defenses are useful for fighting the charges.

  • Good faith. To obtain a wire fraud conviction, the government has to prove you intended to defraud someone. A possible defense is then that you did not intend to enter into a scheme to defraud anyone. For example, if you were acting on advice from a lawyer or didn’t have any financial motive, you tried to rectify the situation once you found out about it.
  • Puffery. Another instance of lack of intent occurs when you use “puffery,” such as hyperbolic statements or flattery, to persuade potential customers. Salespeople often engage in puffery when communicating with prospective buyers, so most people understand such statements for they are, and don’t rely on them for accurate information about a transaction.

Therefore, the defense strategy will be determined according to the case and best options evaluated, which will be explained in detail and work to resolve your situation in the most satisfactory way possible. Throughout the entire process, the focus will be on aggressively defending your rights and protecting your interests.


Don’t hesitate to get help from a qualified, experienced defense attorney. A conviction on wire fraud can be devastating on your family, therefore doing so after being charged or on appeal, or you still need help while being investigated after being charged. We will put our knowledge and experience to work fighting for you.

In wire fraud cases, having an attorney with government experience is very important. Effective communication with government officers and government prosecutors is necessary, so hiring an attorney who has years of experience as a government prosecutor and “speaks the same language” is crucial to having a strong defense.

Why a Wire Fraud Appeal is Not Always the Answer

The decision to seek a Wire Fraud Appeal is one that should not be made lightly. While it’s often necessary to discuss an appeal, it’s important that the conversation include information about what an appeal can accomplish. The last thing counsel should do is head down the road of an appeal when there really isn’t an understanding of what can be achieved through appellate courts. It’s possible to have an appeal granted, only to end up right where you started.

A Wire Fraud Appeal appeal is not for the purpose of allowing the appellate court to hear facts of the case that were presented to the district court. In actuality, that’s not something that’s even possible during an appeal. Yes, if the Wire Fraud Appeal is won and the district court’s decision is overturned, then there’s a good chance that a new case will be granted. This is when there would be an opportunity to present new facts. However, that’s only because you’re starting from scratch after probably waiting a year or more to get through the federal Wire Fraud Appeal process. Long before that happens, there’s a lot to consider before moving forward with a Wire Fraud appeal.

In a perfect world where everything you hope for happens, upon filing a brief at an appellate court, the process would be completed expeditiously and the panel of judges would all agree that the district court made a legal error of some sort. Perhaps they would find issues with the case that were so egregious, that an acquittal is granted. The appellate court would then vacate the conviction and both counsel and the client is thrilled. This scenario might sound realistic to some, but anyone that has worked as an appellate lawyer knows that this example is nothing more than wishful thinking. Yes, it could happen, but it’s not likely.

Part of the process of filing a notice of Wire Fraud Appeal when retained by a client is making sure they understand the potential outcomes. This includes the fact that appellate courts are not for the purpose of hearing new information. Clients must understand that the process is for assessing the legal soundness of the district court’s judgment. In so many words, they are analyzing the decision of the district court to ascertain whether or not legal errors were made. The question is whether relief is actually warranted by an appeal based on the various issues raised in the brief.

Wire Fraud Appeal Attorneys

When trial errors are made, they often consist of procedural violations. Depending on the nature of the situation, there is a chance that the errors will result in an Wire Fraud Appeal and a new trial, as aforementioned. When considering the various outcomes of the Wire Fraud Appeal, the client must understand that instead of an acquittal, there’s a chance that thy will have a new trial granted. From a statistical point of view, there’s also a chance that the new case will be tried in the same district court. Perhaps the government will choose not to try the case again, which is another way in which victory can be obtained from a federal criminal appeal. Realistically, that’s not likely to happen. It’s more likely that a new trial will be granted, which means the client is right back where they started.

Some might say that even a slight probability of having a new trial is worth filing an Wire Fraud Appeal. Others believe that filing an Wire Fraud Appeal when there were no legal errors made is just a waste of time. The bottom line is that the decision belongs to the client. However, it is important to make sure they understand jurisprudence. The workload that accompanies an Wire Fraud Appeal is heavy and requires commitment. If filing an appeal is likely to be an exercise in futility, there should be an understanding of why that opinion is held. It’s always best when clients make an informed decision.

Wire Fraud Laws, Charges & Statute of Limitations

Wire fraud deals with a category of crimes which focus on deception for gain. Wire fraud involves the usage of communication equipment like wire, television, internet, radio, etc. It’s defined by federal law 18 USC § 1343  and it’s distinct from other fraud categories like fraud by mail, telemarketing fraud, and fraud by documents/false statements.

Wire Fraud Laws

Wire fraud usually involves an element which crosses state lines. As a result, wire fraud is prosecuted by the federal government. In addition to the laws covering wire fraud, there are other laws that make provisions for wire fraud that pertains to a state of emergency/diaster, as well any form of wire fraud which affects a financial institution. Any criminal activity which involves the US mail, or electronic, or digital, communications is considered mail or wire fraud. If you use these digital communications to transmit false/fraudulent promises to the public, then you could find yourself prosecuted for wire fraud. The federal government takes this VERY harshly. It’s likely violators can be fined up to $1,000,000 and you could even face prison time.

Wire Fraud Crimes – Wire Fraud Charges

Federal wire fraud focuses on the type of fraud that is being committed, and the ill intent involved, or the institution that was impacted. The federal statute for wire fraud recognizes several types of wire fraud, depending on their circumstances.

General wire fraud: This is a type of wire fraud that uses TV, Radio, etc, that is transmitted across state lines, without any aggravating factors. This could be compared to the general statute for other types of fraud.

Special category fraud: This is a type of fraud that is made in connection with any disaster – as defined by Section 102 of the Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, which can be reviewed by looking at 42 U.S.C. 5122. This focuses on federal powers in response to natural disasters or other state declared emergencies.

The special category of wire fraud looks at acts of wire fraud that impact financial institutions. Any type of wire fraud which can be shown to be connected to defrauding a financial institution can be considered aggravated fraud.

Wire Fraud Punishments

Wire fraud punishments can depend on aggravating factors. The minimum penalty for an act of fraud is a prison sentence of no more than 20 years. A fine is also defined by wire fraud. As with many other fraud/financial crimes, the fine is determined by the amount of the fraud, and the value of any material gains thanks to the fraud.

Wire Fraud Sentencing Guidelines

Wire fraud sentencing guidelines influence the sentencing process for all types of wire fraud. Under federal statutes, even non-aggravated wire fraud can have a prison sentence up to 20 years, in addition to a fine. Aggravated acts of wire fraud which harm financial institutions, or are connected with federally declared emergencies can have minimum penalties. The penalties can range from 30 years in prison, and a fine of up to $1 million dollars.

Wire Fraud Statute of Limitations

Federal prosecutors cannot prosecute someone, bring them to trial, or seek punitive punishments for a noncapital offense, unless the defendant is indicted, or information is entered, within 5 years of the offense. (Title 18, section 3281). This statute of limitations can be invalidated situationally, depending on where the fraud is undertaken in terms of the federal offense.

Wire Fraud Cases



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