Being accused of any type of crime can seem shocking to some people. You may have never anticipated coming under investigation for a serious crime, but one day, you learned that such action was taking place. Understandably, you began to feel a little worried, even if you did not believe you had done anything wrong.
Even if authorities have not formally charged you with a crime, you may still wonder what will happen since you are under investigation for wire fraud. At this point, it may be in your best interests to gain information on the type of crime of which authorities have accused you and what it could mean for your future if you do face a formal charge.
What is wire fraud?
Whenever you hear the word “fraud,” you likely know that it has negative connotations. In some cases, it can even have criminal connotations, which is the case with wire fraud. This type of fraud typically involves activities that take place over the telephone, internet communications, through fax or television transmissions. If authorities suspect you of this type of activity, it means they suspect that the following actions occurred:
- You created or participated in a plan to defraud another person or entity of money or property.
- You carried out these actions with the intent to defraud the other party.
- A reasonably foreseeable chance existed that you would use wire communications.
- You did use interstate wire communications.
Of course, in order to receive a guilty verdict in such a situation, the prosecution would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the case met these four elements.
What if you are convicted?
If the court does hand down a guilty verdict, you could face up to $250,000 in fines as an individual and a maximum prison sentence of up to 20 years. Undoubtedly, you do not want to face such negative outcomes. Fortunately, you will have the chance to defend against any wire fraud charges if they come against you.
Even if you are just under investigation, it may be wise to reach out for legal support. A Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney can help you understand what will likely take place during the investigation, what you can do during that time and what your options are in the event that you do face formal charges.