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“Add-on” element of wire fraud can escalate criminal charges

Individuals who are targeted by state and federal investigative teams in white collar criminal probes might reasonably want to take quick notice of any reference to wire fraud.

Here’s why, as we note on our website at the long-tenured St. Louis criminal defense law firm of Rosenblum Schwartz & Fry: Wire fraud (and mail fraud as well) “is a common ‘add-on’ to other criminal charges.”

That is significant for multiple and very serious reasons. For starters, one or more wire fraud charges can substantially up the ante on potential consequences for an alleged wrongdoer. An in-depth online overview of wire fraud underscores that government lawyers sometimes look at that activity in an encompassing way to expand the charges against a defendant.

Moreover, stresses that article, tacking on wire fraud counts often allows for the filing of federal charges in cases “when the crimes committed would [otherwise] only be subject to state laws.”

And then there’s this, which can be of obvious and sobering concern for any defendant: Penalties linked with wire fraud charges are per count, which can yield a truly draconian sentencing outcome regarding fines and incarceration terms.

Federal prosecutors rely upon relevant laws that define wire fraud in an expansive and even generalized way. The above primer notes that the crime’s definition is “rather broad,” including signals, writings, pictures and sounds sent by phone, radio, television and over the Internet.

The amorphous nature of wire fraud and the stark downsides it can pose for any person charged with one or more fraud offenses render it important for a targeted individual to immediately seek proven legal help. An experienced white collar legal defense team can provide that.

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Rosenblum Schwartz & Fry

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