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The basics of wire fraud

| Jan 17, 2021 | Criminal Defense

In the United States, those accused of criminal behavior face prosecution on the municipal, state or federal level. Although New Jersey state courts can hand down serious sentences, most legal professionals consider federal crimes the most severe. Wire fraud is always prosecuted on the federal level.

What is fraud?

On its most basic level, fraud is committed to obtain an ill-gotten gain. Although these gains can benefit individuals or entities, criminals must have awareness of what’s going on to be convicted of fraud. It must be proven that they deliberately lied to victims or covered up the truth to achieve these unauthorized benefits.

What is wire fraud?

Wire fraud involves deliberate deception. The distinguishing factor of wire fraud is that it involves telephonic or electronic communication.

In wire fraud cases, prosecutors must prove that defendants purposely attempted to defraud assets, including property and cash, out of other individuals or entities. They also must use “interstate wire communications.” These interstate wire communications can take the form of internet-based messages, phone calls, text messages or even faxes.

About federal crimes

In general, if people carry out criminal acts within only one state, they get prosecuted on the state level. However, wire fraud is always considered a federal crime in the United States even if the alleged criminal’s activities targeted residents of their own state.

In 2012, the Department of Justice reported a 93% conviction rate across all of its federal cases. With the U.S. federal government’s high conviction rate, defending yourself against wire fraud isn’t a good idea. Consider hiring a criminal defense lawyer to represent you. An experienced lawyer may be able to help you get the charges dismissed or the penalties reduced.

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