Los Angeles Wire Fraud Lawyer

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Los Angeles Wire Fraud Attorney

Anyone who is charged with wire fraud faces heavy fines, potential jail time, and other potentially life-altering consequences. If you are involved in a business, a conviction could have serious consequences for the company you work for. Anyone who is being investigated for this type of white-collar crime should seek the legal services of a Los Angeles wire fraud lawyer.

Wire fraud crimes are often extremely complex. You will want to work with an attorney who has experience representing defendants who face allegations of defrauding victims through electronic communications. With the right law firm by your side, you may be able to have the penalties tied to your case reduced. If the evidence supports your innocence, you may be able to have the charges dropped altogether.

Best Los Angeles Wire Fraud Lawyer

What Is Wire Fraud?

The elements of wire fraud are similar to mail fraud. When someone uses a telephone call or electronic communication in furtherance of the scheme, they may be charged with this type of white-collar crime. Because wire fraud almost always involves the transmission of information across states, wire fraud is a federal crime.

Wire fraud involves electronic forms of communication. The mere attempt to defraud someone using radio, email, text, and other forms of telecommunications can lead to criminal charges of wire fraud. The white-collar crime uses the speed of electronic communications to defraud victims. This also makes locating perpetrators of this crime difficult. There are four fundamental elements of wire fraud:

  1. Scheme to defraud. The person charged with wire fraud must have intended to defraud another party by means of telecommunication. To defraud means they intend to cheat someone out of money, property, or honest services.
  2. Misrepresentation or omission. Material misrepresentation is another core element of wire fraud. This could mean a false promise or deliberate omission of important information. Lying about the nature of a product or failing to disclose significant risks are examples of omissions that can lead to criminal charges of wire fraud.
  3. Use of electronic communications. Electronic communications encompass a wide range of forms of telecommunication, such as phone calls, emails, text messages, social media, and others.
  4. Intent. As with other white-collar crimes, criminal intent is key. The perpetrator must have acted with intent to defraud. They must have knowingly participated in the scheme, knowing that it was done with the aim of obtaining money or property by deceit.

Wire fraud is a serious criminal charge that carries the potential of fines and imprisonment. Each electronic communication can be charged as a separate count. This can lead to multiple charges of wire fraud.

What Does Wire Fraud Look Like?

These examples show what wire fraud looks like in real life. Scammers take advantage of the convenience of reaching out to many people at once under false pretenses with the goal of tricking victims into sending money electronically. Many of these crimes cross state lines and, therefore, become federal crimes.

  • Phishing emails. This type of wire fraud involves the sending out of large amounts of emails that appear to have been sent from a legitimate company. Electronic communications may even be customized to include the name and personal information of the scam’s target. Phishing emails try to trick people into giving out their credit card numbers or login credentials before using that information for unauthorized transactions.
  • Investment scams. Wire fraud may involve more complex scams that make use of social media, online ads, and email. By promoting a fake investment account, the fraudster lures victims into wiring money to the fraudulent account. The victim expects a return on investment even as the funds they sent are pocketed by the scammer.
  • Business email compromise (BEC). One of the more dangerous scams involves a hacker who gains access to a company’s email system. The hacker then impersonates a high-ranking executive. They may send instructions to employees to wire funds to an account controlled by the person committing wire fraud. The person orchestrating the fraud may claim it is an urgent matter and needed for a secret acquisition.
  • Lottery and sweepstakes wire fraud. Many people would understandably become excited to learn that they won a lottery or sweepstakes. One wire fraud scam involves a false notice of winning. The electronic communications then ask for an upfront fee or taxes upfront via wire transfer to claim their prize.
  • Online auction fraud. In this form of wire fraud, a seller lists items for sale on an online auction or marketplace site, accepting payments via wire transfer. After receiving the payment, the seller fails to deliver the promised goods, leaving the buyer unable to recover their money.
  • Real estate fraud. Another form of wire fraud uses scammers who impersonate real estate agents or representatives, persuading buyers to wire down payments or closing costs for properties that either don’t exist or are not actually for sale. Once funds are sent, the scammer will disappear and leave the victim with no way to get the funds back.

Legal Defenses Against Wire Fraud

Anyone who is charged with committing wire fraud in Los Angeles faces serious life-changing penalties. State and federal agencies take fraudulent activities very seriously. Once you have legal representation, your lawyer can examine the facts of the case to see where law enforcement or prosecutors misinterpreted the evidence. The line between legitimate business and criminal acts can sometimes become blurred by prosecutors who jump to conclusions.

One legal argument that may help your case is that you did not intend to commit fraud. White-collar crimes often require that prosecutors prove that the defendant intended to defraud investors and did so, knowing that those acts violated standing laws. If the prosecutors cannot demonstrate using evidence that you had the intention of committing wire fraud, they may not have a strong case against you.

Another defense would be to show that the defendant was mistaken about key facts about a product or service they sold. For example, if you were in the business of selling mail-order products to people but were unaware that those products were falsely labeled, you may not be charged with wire fraud. Making an honest mistake should not constitute committing a crime.

An experienced defense attorney will gather evidence that pokes holes in the prosecutor’s case. If there are witnesses who allege you committed wire fraud, a defense attorney can find areas where those statements are contradictory or inconsistent. On cross-examination, their testimony may become unreliable.

Resolving your case may require demonstrating your innocence. In other situations, accepting a lesser charge may be in your interest. If needed, your wire fraud lawyer can make the case for your innocence before a jury.

FAQs

Q: How Do You Beat a Wire Fraud Case?

A: One of the most effective ways to beat a wire fraud case is by hiring an experienced white-collar crime attorney who understands the federal laws and how to defend against them. If your attorney is able to disprove the four key elements of wire fraud, prosecutors may no longer have a case. Proving intent is often difficult, and circumstantial evidence may not be enough for federal prosecutors to move forward with charges.

Q: What Is the Law on Wire Fraud in California?

A: Under United States Code Section 1343, the criminal offense of wire fraud is made when someone uses “electronic communication” in furtherance of a scheme. Prosecutors must prove that the accused intended to defraud and used some form of telecommunication to deceive or defraud someone. Misrepresentation is a common element of wire fraud. Due to the nature of the crime, finding the people who commit this form of white-collar crime is often difficult.

Q: Who Investigates Wire Transfer Fraud?

A: Wire fraud may initially be noticed by local or state law enforcement involved in investigating white-collar crimes. Federal agencies typically take over those investigations because wire fraud is a federal crime. Sometimes, local, state, and federal groups will coordinate efforts that ultimately lead to prosecution in federal court.

Q: Who Enforces Wire Fraud?

A: Wire fraud is a federal crime, so any agency that prosecutes white-collar crime will be a federal agency. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the United States Secret Service, or the Department of Justice (DOJ) could potentially prosecute wire fraud, possibly in conjunction with local law enforcement agencies.

Schedule Your Wire Fraud Consultation Today

Being charged with wire fraud or finding out that you are being investigated for wire fraud can be an unsettling and nerve-wracking experience. It is important to remember that being charged with a crime does not mean that you committed the offense that you are charged with. Your wire fraud lawyer in Los Angeles can review the facts of the case and develop a legal strategy that works to protect your rights.

Due to the complexity of wire fraud cases, it is important to work with a law firm that has experience representing defendants who are facing white-collar criminal charges. An attorney with the Law Offices of Marc S. Nurik can handle your defense and collect evidence that rebuts the accusations that you are facing. Do not hesitate to contact our legal team to start the process today.

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