What You Need to Know About Wire Fraud Charges

Posted on September 14th, 2018 By

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The founder and former president of a blood-testing company, Theranos, was charged with wire fraud in June 2018. The charges were connected to false claims that they made about the accuracy of their testing devices. Wire fraud is a common crime that some businesspeople get charged with, but what is this crime and why is it so common?

What Is Wire Fraud?

Wire fraud is similar to regular fraud, except there is one key difference: this type of fraud takes place over phone lines or other types of electronic communications. Wire fraud generally has four important elements:

  1. The defendant made or participated in a scheme to defraud another person out of their assets
  2. The defendant did so with the intention to defraud
  3. It was foreseeable to conclude that the defendant would use wire communications in order to defraud
  4. The defendant used interstate wire communications

Typically, people who commit wire fraud are looking for someone’s financial information in order to use their credit cards or to transfer money from their bank account. A common example of this is telemarketing fraud. Many scammers will use the Internet and email access in order to “phish” out unsolicited information from other people.

Penalties for fire fraud, under federal law, include fines up to $250,000 for individuals and $500,000 for companies and organizations. The defendant could also face 20 or more years in state prison.

Wire fraud is usually linked to other crimes, and many inter-state agencies will use the crime of wire fraud to prosecute the underlying crimes. Contact the Law Offices of Richard Wingerden today if you have been charged with fraud in the San Jose, California area.