In an era of technical advances, the internet often serves as an arena for get-rich-quick schemes and other endeavors that the law considers wire fraud.
The Federal Trade reported that American consumers lost $8.8 billion to fraud in 2022. That staggering number has state and federal law enforcement agencies on edge and ready to deliver harsh penalties. If faced with wire fraud charges, a person likely has many questions.
1. What does the law consider wire fraud?
In essence, wired fraud means using electronic communication to willingly and intentionally defraud a person or people for money or valuable items. Common examples include creating a fake website for monetary gains, spam emails to obtain financial access, phishing and telemarketing schemes. The fraudsters enter agreements with people knowing they will not deliver what they promised.
2. What penalties may come with a conviction?
Different fraud charges come with different penalties. Charges considered disorderly person offenses may come with minimal jail time and a $1,000 fine. For indictable offenses, the person charged faces more serious consequences. Along with up to a five-year jail sentence and a $15,000 fine, it may also come with federal charges. If entering federal court, it may mean 30 years of prison and a $1 million fine.
3. What defense options might a person have?
While the charges come with severe consequences, they do not always come with a victim. In some cases, the evidence collection may have violated a person’s constitutional rights. Prosecutors must provide a case without any reasonable doubt.
From having valid evidence to proving intentional acts, wire fraud cases come with challenges for both sides.