Los Angeles Wire Fraud Defense Lawyers
Being convicted of wire fraud carries with it a potentially steep jail sentence, hefty fines, and other consequences. Additionally, if you are a business owner and the alleged wire fraud involved your company, you could face severe backlash and damage to your professional reputation. If you have been accused of wire fraud, it’s important to understand the details of the law and your options.
Like most federal crimes, a wire fraud case requires a skilled criminal defense that can effectively represent you and fight for your case. At Werksman Jackson & Quinn, LLP, we have years of experience working within the federal court system, helping our clients avoid significant jail time and other consequences that would impact their future. Don’t hesitate to contact our team of experienced Los Angeles federal crime attorneys by calling (213) 688-0460 to get started.
According to 18 U.S. Code § 1343, wire fraud is defined as any conspiracy, scheme, or plan to defraud another party through electronic communications. The essential elements of a wire fraud charge involve the use of radio, wire, email, fax, and other forms of telecommunications to carry out the scheme. It is worthwhile to note that prosecutors can bring a wire fraud charge even if the defendant never actually benefited from their plan. It’s merely the intention to carry out the plan that can determine whether you can be charged with wire fraud.
Some examples of wire fraud can include:
- Sending a fax, email, or even a telegram that facilitates the fraud in any way
- Creating a webpage that imitates a non-profit organization, and soliciting donations through an online payment system
- The executor of an estate transferring the money into a personal bank account that should otherwise be distributed amongst the inheritors
Wire fraud is automatically a federal crime. This means that the penalties will be far harsher than they are for state crimes, such as credit card fraud. If you are convicted, you could be sent to a federal prison, rather than one of the California state prisons. Penalties for wire fraud include:
- Up to 20 years in federal prison
- A high fine
- Up to 30 years in federal prison if the fraud involved a federal disaster or financial institute
Even on the low end, you could be spending decades in prison. Such a long stay will impact your relationships, especially with any significant others or children, as well as your ability to be employed, and your reputation. Of course, if you are convicted of related offenses, that could lead to you spending even more time in prison than you originally thought.
When you are charged with a crime, the prosecution will often add on related offenses -- if you were arrested for wire fraud, by the time your trial starts, you could be facing several other charges. This is often done to allow the prosecution to go for the maximum punishment. They may do this to push you to take a plea deal, or they may do it in order to make an example of you. Whatever the reason, if they succeed, you will face extra years behind bars.
Some common offenses related to wire fraud include:
Mail fraud: Fraud crimes often overlap. Mail fraud and wire fraud are incredibly similar crimes. The only real difference is that mail fraud involves the use of the U.S. Postal Service in committing the crime. This could mean extra years added to your sentence -- in fact, the maximum mail fraud penalty is 20 years in prison.
Internet fraud: Also known as cybercrime, any fraud carried out over the internet is immediately labeled internet fraud. If any aspect of your alleged crime involved email, then internet fraud could easily be tacked onto your charges. At its highest penalty, this could add another 20 years to your federal prison sentence.
Securities fraud: Securities fraud can be tried as a state crime; however, if you are already facing a charge of wire fraud, then it is likely you will be charged on the federal level. A security is a business arrangement in which there is an exchange of ownership in a business, or a right to repayment of debt. Thus, it ties directly in with wire fraud. The maximum penalty for this crime is another 16 years in prison.
With all of these related offenses added up, you could spend the rest of your life in federal prison. That is why you need a tough lawyer to defend you. It isn’t enough to build a defense around one charge. An experienced criminal defense attorney will tackle any related offenses that are added on to your trial.
While the penalties for a wire charge conviction can be severe, there are a number of ways that an experienced wire fraud defense attorney can help your case. A common strategy that the defense team may use when fighting a wire fraud charge is arguing that the defendant never specifically intended to commit fraud. For example, using someone else’s insurance card can be considered fraud, but if you do so accidently and never intend on using anything other than your own insurance card, the courts may not find you criminally liable for fraud.
Another common method in which defense teams approach a wire fraud case is showing that the defendant was mistaken about the key facts when committing the fraudulent act. If you helped your friend with their new business of mail-order herbal supplements and they falsely claimed that the products were scientifically tested, so long as you legitimately believed that to be true when telling customers, you may not be charged with wire fraud.
Whatever your defense may be, you will need strong evidence on your side. It isn’t enough to take the stand and tell the jury that you make a mistake. You must be able to poke enough holes in the prosecution’s argument that there is doubt around your guilt. While you do have the right to a public defender, he or she will likely not have the time needed to create a strong defense. That’s why you should call one of the best criminal defense firms in Los Angeles for help.
Getting convicted of wire fraud can result in decades in prison, or your entire life behind bars if you are also convicted of the related offenses. If you have been charged with wire fraud, you’ll need the best possible criminal defense to assert your innocence and preserve your freedom, your future, and your professional reputation. With the help of a skilled Los Angeles wire fraud defense attorney, you will get the protection you need to achieve a favorable resolution.
At Werksman Jackson & Quinn, LLP, we understand that the circumstance of every case is different. When you’re up against an intimidating charge of wire fraud, it’s important that you work with a legal team that has years of experience dealing with charges at the federal level. We will examine every facet of your case, consult with the experts, and use cutting-edge tools to analyze your bank records and other evidence to make sure that you receive the most effective criminal defense possible. Don’t wait to get started on fighting your case and winning your freedom. Contact our office at (213) 688-0460 to learn more about your options.
Recent Case Results
- Complete Dismissal of Molestation Charges
Attorney Mark Werksman’s 29 year old client was falsely accused of molesting two neighborhood children and was subsequently charged with felony child molestation, with a significant prison sentence hanging over his head should he be convicted. Instead, at the preliminary hearing Werksman was able to convince the court to grant his client a complete dismissal of any charges.
- Decision Set Aside
Client, a college student in a faulty Title IX case, was awarded $130,000 in attorney fees.
- Probation with No Jail Time for Drug Money Laundering Charge
Wilmington man accused in New York federal court of laundering drug money through the sale of laptop computers. Mark was able to get the case transferred to federal court in Los Angeles, where he convinced the United States Attorney to reduce the charges. His client was sentenced to probation with no jail time on a misdemeanor conviction.