Wire Fraud

The mail fraud statute, Title 18 U.S.C. §1343, makes it a federal crime to use a wire communication in any way to advance a scheme to defraud or to obtain money or property by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, false representations. Defrauding a victim means to deprive that person of something valuable by deceit or trickery.

An example of a fraudulent scheme would be where an enterprising person presents an idea for making a new product to potential investors but has not intention to follow through with the plan. He makes his pitch about his new product and about his plans to market this new product to the niche segment of the public who he has identified as his potential customers. And he has presented his well thought out plans to manufacture his new product efficiently and profitably. The plan is convincing enough to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for his business plans.

As he planned, none of the money is used for this business. The business is completely fictional, and the businessman has no intention of using it for the business. Contact Miami attorney Ken Swartz if you or someone you know is facing wire fraud charges.

So false representations to potential investors that a business is profitable when in reality it is not, would be a crime if it induced someone to invest money in the non existent business. One very notorious fraudulent scheme is a Ponzi scheme, where a businessman purporting to run a profitable business solicits investors for non-existent business on the promise of steady returns on their investment. A notorious example of a Ponzi scheme is the Bernie Madoff scandal. Madoff claimed to be investing people’s money in various markets and should consistently high returns. In reality he was taking money from new investors to pay interest to old investors. One most highly publicized fraud in the Miami area was the Scott Rothstein scandal, who solicited investors with the promise of big rewards for non-existent enterprises.

The use of a telephone, internet or other wire communication to advance this fraudulent scheme would give the federal government jurisdiction to prosecute under the wire fraud statute. The use if the wire does not have to be an essential element of the offense as long as it is part of the process in the scheme.

The fraudulent representation made by the con artist must be about a material fact. In example here, the automobile dealer misrepresentations about the odometer are material to the customer’s decision to buy the car. Clearly the number of miles on car’s odometer is a material fact in any car buyer’s decision to purchase a car, especially if the car is used. If for example the dealer turned back the odometer by 10 miles, the potential buyer would probably not be materially influenced by the fraud. However, a 50,000 mile difference in the odometer would be material to the car buyer’s decision to purchase a car.

If you or someone you know has been arrested, is being investigated, or is accused of committing any type do fraud, you need an attorney to represent you who has the experience and expertise in criminal law to handle the problem. Ken Swartz , one of the top Miami criminal defense attorneys in the state, is ready to come to your defense.

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