Wire fraud, in the digital age, falls into a niche set of parameters considering that computer fraud is technically a different charge. Phone calls, text messages and emails are all tools when it comes to wire fraud.
The United States Department of Justice recently released a report regarding an international boiler room conspiracy facilitated by wire fraud.
Calling international victims from boiler rooms
First off, it is important to know the definition of a boiler room — which is a term for an outbound call center selling questionable investments.
Homeland Security Investigations and the Internal Revenue Service both investigated a series of overseas accounts, including boiler room businesses in Panama. These money laundering rings helped a 55-year-old woman—the party pleading guilty—and her co-conspirators funnel approximately $3.24 million into their personal accounts.
The fraud portion of this conspiracy was the high-pressure sales techniques used to defraud duped investors. These investors believed they were spending their money on regulated financial products like stocks. The wire aspect of the fraud involved the woman calling victims while posing as an employee of a fake investment firm.
Facing the reality of wire fraud charges
Wire fraud comes with a punishment up to 20 years of imprisonment, meaning that anyone facing those charges has a lot at stake. Regardless of whether a person faces charges of wire fraud or is a whistleblower pointing out wire fraud, there are potential legal options for protection.
In the case of federal investigations, it is vital for businesses or owners to understand their viable legal avenues when discussing or defending against wire fraud charges.