Facing federal wire fraud conspiracy charges can be daunting. A conviction may result in fines, lengthy incarceration sentences, and other severe penalties. If you have recently been charged with wire fraud conspiracy or believe the government might soon bring such charges, educating yourself about the federal wire fraud statute is the first step toward building a robust defense.
What Is Wire Fraud?
Understanding wire fraud conspiracy charges entails knowing what constitutes wire fraud itself. In a successful wire fraud case, the U.S. Department of Justice must prove that the defendant purposefully constructed or engaged in a scheme to cheat someone out of their money across state lines by use of the following:
- Phone call
- Text message
- Social media messaging
The prosecution must demonstrate that the defendant made false statements, including half-truths, with the intent to defraud. A federal wire fraud penalty after conviction carries a prison sentence of up to 20 years and a fine of up to $250,000 for individuals.
The “Conspiracy” Element Explained
Wire fraud conspiracy is a charge the government can bring if they believe that you and one or more individuals came together to employ any of the above forms of electronic communications to engage in criminal activity. Crucially, the prosecution does not need to prove that you succeeded in the commission of fraud to convict you in a conspiracy case. It is sufficient for them to demonstrate that you clearly intended to do so.
Conspiracy charges give prosecutors a significant advantage because, if they succeed in drawing a connection, they can use evidence against co-conspirators as evidence against you. This can make these charges challenging to fight without the help of an experienced white-collar defense attorney.
Potential Consequences in New Jersey
A wire fraud conspiracy conviction carries harsh penalties, including a maximum prison sentence of 20 years and a maximum fine of $250,000. Furthermore, after the sentence is served, such a criminal record may make finding employment, enrolling in higher education, or renting a home challenging.
Steps to Take if You’re Facing Charges
If you are facing wire fraud conspiracy charges, taking proactive steps to protect yourself is critical. Here are some essential actions to take:
- Only speak to law enforcement with an attorney present. Anything you say can be used against you, so invoke your right to remain silent until you have legal counsel.
- Hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney familiar with federal fraud cases can advise you on your rights and options and start building your defense strategy immediately.
- Gather and preserve any documents, records, or other evidence related to your case. This includes electronic communications, financial statements, receipts, and anything else that could help prove your innocence. Provide copies to your lawyer.
- Be cautious about what you say and do online. Prosecutors can use your social media posts and activity against you. Avoid posting about your case.
Contact Our New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorney
Facing wire fraud conspiracy charges requires aggressive legal defense. The team at Keith Oliver Criminal Law has a proven track record of getting results that let our clients breathe a sigh of relief. We will fight passionately for your rights and liberty. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more about your legal options.