Proving wire fraud

The terminology used to define certain crimes may seem antiquated. Wire fraud is one such example. It basically refers to fraudulent schemes proliferated through communications, yet comes from a time period when interstate communications occurred literally via wire (telegram).

Yet as many of our past clients here at Hilder & Associates, P.C. can attest to, updates to the methods of interstate communications have not changed the fact that authorities still prosecute wire fraud. Thus, your ability to answer charges of having running such a scheme out of Texas requires that you understand the elements defining this crime.

Elements of wire fraud

According to the Criminal Resource Manual maintained by the U.S. Department of Justice, different federal court rulings attempting to define wire fraud set a varied standard for this offense. The most comprehensive of these states that to convict you of wire fraud, authorities must prove the following:

  • You voluntarily participated in a scheme to defraud another of money
  • You did so with an intent to defraud
  • The use of interstate wire communications to proliferate the scheme was reasonably foreseeable
  • You did indeed utilize such communications in the scheme

Today’s interstate communications typically occur via phone, email or instant message. These formats now collectively represent the “wire” portion referred to in the statute.

It all comes down to intent

A disgruntled client with whom you worked remotely might easily claim wire fraud if your joint venture results in a loss. However, as the requirements above state, simply conducting business via interstate communications does not satisfy the standard for wire fraud. Rather, officials must show that you intended to defraud your client. Good faith actions that result in financial losses are just that.

You can learn more about answering to accusations of federal crimes by continuing to explore our site.