Understanding fraud by wire, radio or television

On Behalf of | Jul 22, 2020 | Criminal Defense |

According to Syracuse University, prosecutions for white-collar offenses were at a 20-year low as of 2018. The decline has not been consistent, but prosecutions have seen an overall downward trend compared to 20 or even 10 years prior, when the rate of white-collar prosecutions was 31.3% higher. 

Nevertheless, white-collar crime continues to occur, even if it is at a lower rate than in recent history. Prosecutors may file more than one charge at the same time, but the lead charge is the most significant. In 2018, the lead charge filed most often was fraud by wire, radio or television. 

How is wire fraud different from mail fraud?

According to the Department of Justice, wire fraud must involve an electronic communication of some kind, such as an interstate phone call. Otherwise, wire fraud is very similar to mail fraud in that there must be interstate communication and an intention to acquire money from someone else via false pretenses. This could conceivably involve running ads via television or radio encouraging individuals to buy into a scheme that turns out to be fraudulent. 

What is necessary to prove wire fraud?

Proving a charge of wire fraud involves proving that an electronic communication in furtherance of the alleged scheme took place across state lines. It is also necessary to prove that the object of the scheme was to defraud money from someone else and that the person charged participated in the scheme willingly with the knowledge that fraud was the purpose and with the intent of using false pretenses to obtain the money.