Wire fraud is a serious offense under federal law that involves defrauding another person through electronic communications. It is a very similar crime to mail fraud, which is a fraud offense that takes place through the use of U.S. mail. Any fraud that happens through wire, radio, and television communications can lead to a wire fraud crime, including those that involve the Internet.
There are some elements that must be prevalent to show that this crime actually occurred. The prosecution must show that the defendant was trying to defraud another person by obtaining their money in an illegal way, that the defendant acted knowingly, and that false representations were made to obtain money in an illegal manner.
Popular Wire Fraud: Nigerian Prince
One of examples of wire fraud that you may have heard of is the Nigerian Prince scheme. In this scam, that you still sometimes hear of today, the sender claims that the Nigerian Prince has been exiled and that he has money in a Nigerian account. However, they must access the reader’s bank account as a place to deposit the money until a safer place is found. The reader then gives their information and the scammer uses their bank account information to access all the money in the account. These schemes seem easy to spot, but those who are elderly or ill-informed of the ways of the Internet may not know better and believe they are getting money in return for their good doings.
Knowing and Willful Conduct
For you to be convicted of wire fraud, there must have been knowing and willful conduct. If you have acted in an accidental manner in obtaining someone’s money, you could have a viable defense. It is not, however, common for innocent people to be accused of this crime because it is difficult to accidentally obtain another person’s information over wire. Usually, circumstantial evidence will be piled against you, which is why it is important to have an attorney on your side. Call us today at the Law Office of Peter Blair for more information on how we can help you with your federal offense.