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Wire Fraud

If you are under investigation or have been arrested and facing charges for mail or wire fraud, it is imperative that you seek legal counsel. Federal wire fraud can result in serious penalties such as lengthy prison sentences and having to pay substantial fines. Plus, wire fraud cases can be extremely complex because of how broad the laws are as they can apply to various criminal activities. Federal prosecutors are experienced and have the resources necessary to convict you. It is vital that you seek legal counsel if you are under investigation for wire fraud and/or mail fraud. If you believe that you may be under investigation or you are facing charges for the alleged offense of wire and/or mail fraud, do not say anything to authorities without legal representation.

Wire Fraud Criminal Defense Attorney in Pensacola, FL

If you are facing federal mail fraud or wire fraud charges in Pensacola, Florida, it is in your best interest to begin working on your defense as soon as possible. The first step in building your defense is acquired a skilled and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney. Pensacola criminal defense attorney John Terrezza defends clients in and around Escambia County, including such communities as Pensacola Beach, Milton, and Gulf Breeze. 

John Terrezza of [firm] fights to get the most favorable outcomes for his clients. He is skilled and will use every possible resource to try to get the best possible result for your case. Call [phone] or complete an online contact form to take advantage of a free, confidential consultation that will let our lawyer review your case and help you understand all of your legal options.

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Escambia County Mail/Wire Fraud Information Center

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Florida’s Communications Fraud Act

Under Florida Statute §817.034, it is illegal for an individual to engage in the scheme to defraud someone including communicating with any persons with the intent to obtain their property. Under Florida’s statutes the penalties for wire fraud and/or mail fraud are:

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The Difference Between Wire & Mail Fraud

Mail and wire fraud are very similar, except for the means by which a person conducted the scheme. In other words, although both are crimes are under federal statutes and prohibits the scheme to defraud with the intent to take property or monetary funds through fraudulent or false pretenses, the difference is the medium by which the activity was done. On one hand, mail fraud requires the use of the U.S. Postal Services. On the other hand, wire fraud involves wire-based communication to commit the offense (e.g., internet, phone, text messages, e-mail, etc.).

Wire Fraud

Sometimes wire fraud charges can be associated with other related criminal activity, which makes the alleged offense even more complicated. For instance, an individual can use wire communication to conceal the fraudulent activity and fool the victim, doing so is wire fraud. Also, if a person does not fall for the scheme, then the defendant can still be prosecuted for intending to defraud an individual.

The elements of wire fraud, per 18 U.S.C. §1343 are:

Below are the examples of wire fraudulent activity:

Mail Fraud

Any persons can be convicted of mail fraud if he or she makes false representations and/or promises with the clear intent to defraud someone, and the defendant used mail (U.S. Postal Services) to commit the activity. A person can also be convicted even after the scheme is completed because using the postal services as a way to fraud an individual or make an individual feel secure is considered mail fraud. So to be charged with mail fraud, the defendant must use the postal service with the intent to defraud another. 

The elements of mail fraud, according to 18 U.S.C. §1341 are:

Below are the examples of mail fraud activity:

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Federal Penalties for Wire Fraud

The penalties for wire fraud have been enhanced since the enactment of Sarbanes–Oxley Act (SOX) in 2002. The act increased the maximum sentence under the federal law for wire fraud to 20 years. That is to say, defendants are now facing increased sentences for wire fraud violations and committing related white-collar criminal offenses.

Fraudulent activity involving a financial institution or in connection with a presidential declared emergency can result in a fine of up to $1 million and imprisonment for up to 30 years. For example, if a person claims to have personal protective equipment during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and received payment either through a wire transfer or by mail for the equipment but never delivers the product, then he or she is engaging in fraudulent activity.

Furthermore, the penalties for wire fraud will depend on the particular facts surrounding your situation and the value of fraud against the victim. Some common penalties if convicted included having to serve time in jail, probation, paying a hefty fine, and restitution to the victim.

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Additional Resources for Mail/Wire Fraud

Brief Overview of Federal Criminal Law – Visit the link to view the Congressional Service Research (CSR) report of “Mail and Wire Fraud: A Brief Overview of Federal Criminal Law.” The report explains what is mail and wire fraud, the federal criminal statutes it overlaps with, sentencing guidelines, penalties, and much more.  

Elements of Mail Fraud | Federal Law – Follow the link to the United States Department of Justice Archives. The federal law indicates what elements are required to prove that a defendant committed mail fraud.

Elements of Wire Fraud | Federal Law – Visit the link to view the elements of wire fraud as stated in the Federal Statutes. The site also provides a brief explanation of the difference between mail and wire fraud.

National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) – Follow the link to the website of NICB, it is an organization that works with other agencies to stop insurance fraud. The website provides resources such as a hotline to report suspicious fraudulent activity and ways to prevent fraud.

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Pensacola, FL Wire Fraud Criminal Defense Lawyer

John Terrezza is a dedicated Florida native with experience defending clients in criminal cases in multiple areas. He has defended clients in Escambia County in Pensacola, in Santa Rosa County, in Milton, and in federal court in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida.

If you are facing federal mail fraud or wire fraud charges, contact the experienced mail/wire fraud criminal defense attorney John Terrezza. He has experience fighting his client’s greatest battles and is dedicated to ensuring his clients receive the best possible result for their case. As a skilled professional he values open communication with his clients and will consult with you in every phase of your case so you are fully informed. Pensacola criminal defense attorney John Terrezza of [firm] defends clients from Navarre, Pensacola Beach, Gulf Breeze, Milton, and surrounding communities in the greater Pensacola area. 

Contact the [firm] at [phone] to schedule your confidential consultation.

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