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The History Of Wire Fraud

The History Of Wire Fraud

 

Since the late 19th century communications have gone a long way. By the turn of the 20th century, the telegraph was the most widely used form of electronic communication. The telegraph, however, was only available to lucrative businesses, stock exchanges, news services, and government entities.

The telegraph was the Internet of its day, rapidly disseminating information across the globe. Learning and interpreting Morse code was painstaking and difficult; therefore, the telephone quickly replaced the telegraph. By 1920, every major industrialized nation had streets lined with telephone poles on either side. Telephones were used in domestic, commercial and government communications.

The telephone was the first major breakthrough in electronic communications. Banks and businesses conducted commerce with these electronic contraptions and shortly, cases of fraud committed through telephone line or telegraph wire became widespread. Persons would assume the identity of another person to call a bank to commit wire transfer fraud of money to siphon money out of people's bank accounts.

As electronic communications grew more sophisticated with the invention of the radio and television, by the latter decades of the first half of the 20th century, the potential to use these technologies for mass deception became more apparent. During the second world war, governments used television, film, and radio to disseminate propaganda to steer public opinion of an enemy country.

Crooks used radio, and to a lesser extent, television to sell quack products and made false claims to the detriment of customers and philanthropic donors. Fraud statutes applied to written forms of media, but these new forms of media did not fit existing technology perfectly, hence the origin of wire fraud laws.

Wire fraud laws pertain to any type of fraud that is used to illegally take money or property from people without providing customers and donors with a bona fide good, service, or good works in return. Wire fraud must involve the use of television, radio, telephone, or other form of electronic communication to create a fraudulent agreement. Contact a fraud lawyer to acquire legal advice and assistance.

Wire transfer fraud specifically applies to bank fraud that involves electronic communication instead of face-to-face communication at a financial institution. Wire transfer fraud also involves the fraudulent attainment, by way of false pretense, of banking information to gain access to another person's bank account.

The modern communications revolution and increased occurrence of mass marketing provide scam artists with more opportunity to commit wire fraud of all types

All You Need to Know About Supreme Court Cases

All You Need to Know About Supreme Court Cases

There are two cases that involve the proper criminal procedure involving the prosecution of wire fraud. The first case of the two, United States v. LaMacchiaUS v. Nederwire fraud.
The LaMacchia case is important because it defined the thorny question of what exactly was a digital file containing copyrighted material was. Digital files were not physical entities; however, they were to be protected by the constraints of copyright law. This is important when considering the severity of punishment for those who distribute copyrighted files for free on the Internet. They are copyright infringers, not thieves, in a purely legal sense. Cases, in the future, with Napster would further establish the criminality of copyright infringement exclusive of any statutory definition of fraud. The two are distinct crimes.
The next major Supreme Court case, United States v. Neder, is less clear-cut in its implications because it mostly involves legalistic procedural complexities that need further explanation. Once these concepts are explained, the case is quite simple. The case primarily concerns the Constitutional right to a fair trial. This right is incredibly important if a convicted criminal feels that they were given a mistrial and are wrongfully convicted. The right to appeal is a right that is important to those who are incarcerated.
In 1967, the Supreme Court established the “harmless error” doctrine in Chapman v. California as a guideline to determine what procedural errors constituted enough damage to a person’s chances of an unfair conviction. It is commonplace for a fact of a case to be omitted from discussion in a trial. In all fairness, all pertinent facts relating to one’s criminal case should be covered during the one’s criminal trial. However, this is a human impossibility.
Therefore, the ability to appeal to challenge one’s incarceration is a critical right that all convicts have. They must argue that their case was somehow unfair on a procedural basis. Neglecting to mention a pertinent fact to the defendant’s innocence is the most common procedural error. However, this is incredibly subjective. The Court admits the procedural error in question but a “harmless error” is an error that cannot influence the outcome of a case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Also, in criminal law, “materiality” refers to pieces of evidence that logically links a person to a crime. Materiality, in legal texts, is often linked to the basic elements of a crime. Generally, the prosecution must prove each element of material evidence in order to legitimately convict a criminal. Prosecutors and defense lawyers often instruct the jury on what exactly constitutes material evidence.
With these concepts defined, this facilitates the discussion of United States v. Nader because the case involves practical applications of both “harmless error” and “materiality in accordance with bank, mail, and wire fraud. Ellis E. Neder, Jr, was engaged in a number of real estate transactions in which he defrauded banks, customers, and even the federal government.
He fraudulently obtained bank loans to gain the capital to engage in land development schemes. He committed mail fraud by lying on his federal income tax return. His wire fraud charges stem from his dealings with his victimized customers.
During Neder’s criminal trial, in district court, the prosecutor instructed the jury that the fact that Neder had lied to his victims was aside from the point. Neder’s lying, according to the prosecution, was an immaterial fact in considering to convict the defendant. Nader was convicted of all the charges he had faced.
In 1999, he filed a petition with the appellate court on the grounds that his lying had to be proven to convict Neder. He also argued that the prosecutions omission of this fact was a violation of the harmless error doctrine because Nader and his lawyers felt that this fact would have been influential in the outcome of his case.
Each lower court upheld the conviction. When Nader’s case made it to the Supreme Court nearly 15 years after his conviction, his arguments were unchanged. The two questions before the court were: Does the prosecution’s instruction of the jury in the omission of fraudulent behaviors constitute a harmful procedural error, and is materiality an element of mail, wire, and bank fraud? The court answered no to the first question and yes to the second.
The court understood the basic premise of Nader’s argument, regarding the doctrine of harmless error; but, the error was not significant enough to determine that his trial was unfair. His conviction still stood. The affirmative on the second question set the precedent that prosecutors cannot intentionally omit this pertinent fact to the case; otherwise, the legitimacy of mail, wire, and bank fraud convictions may be in jeopardy.  

Wire Fraud Sentencing and Punishment At A Glance

Wire Fraud Sentencing and Punishment At A GlanceWire fraud charges yield a
potential for sentencing of fines and imprisonment in local, state, or federal
correctional facilities. The extent of sentencing and punishments wire fraud
charges yield depend on a myriad of factors judges consider when handling each
individuals unique case.



The punishment should be proportionate to the extent
of involvement and the extent of losses that resulted from the said wire fraud
charges. Judges use sentencing guidelines based on case law or statutorily
mandated sentencing guidelines to determine that which is appropriate for a
person convicted of wire fraud charges.

What You Need to Know About Wire Fraud Law

What You Need to Know About Wire Fraud Law

Fraud laws that specifically pertain to wire fraud include any form of deception in which the perpetrator gains money or property as a result of the said dishonesty. “Wire,” in wire fraud, refers to any form of media, including television, radio, telephone, or telegraph communication that broadcasts any false information in writing, signals, signs, pictures, or sounds to act out any money making operation based on false pretenses.
Federal fraud laws pertaining to cases of wire fraud that exploit a presidentially declared disaster, such as a terrorist attack or natural disaster, to make money on false pretenses shall be held criminally accountable with increased punishments.
A presidentially declared disaster is any disaster that is of national significance such that federal intervention is necessary to conduct appropriate disaster relief procedures. Wire fraud committed in exploitation of these national catastrophes will be punished severely due to the morally egregious implications of that crime.
Federal wire fraud laws also apply to the cases of wire fraud that damage financial institutions as well. Wire fraud committed in a corporate setting is subject to federal jurisdiction as most businesses operate on an interstate or international basis.
Wire fraud, in this respect, is considered a white collar crime that affects the important financial infrastructure that maintains healthy commerce within the national economy. Wire fraud committed against the unsuspecting public without damaging financial institutions is also regarded as a type of white collar crime.
Wire fraud of this sort is often perpetrated as a fake non-profit organization that does not give donations to the cause the organization claims to champion. Wire fraud of this sort is a form of charity fraud. Wire fraud may also be committed simply by asking someone or the public for a sum of money for a personal favor or service via telephone, or other form of private or broadcast communication, and failing to perform the transfer of goods, services, or good works for which the money was intended.
Criminals who commit wire fraud unlawfully utilize the power of the media and communications technology to cloak their insincerity. Their schemes are designed to sound or look as legitimate as possible. The implications of this crime are staggering because it may contribute to cynicism that may prevent important works from being accomplished in commerce and philanthropy.
It is therefore, the duty of the state to criminalize this type of fraud to maintain the trust needed to maintain the peaceful and equitable conditions under which an economy may flourish. The innate right to property is one of the most basic protections that governments, at each level, provide to all human beings. 

What Are Some Wire Fraud Methods Used

What Are Some Wire Fraud Methods Used

According to federal statutesfraudbona fide business or charity by making false claims of belonging to an organization of good standing within the community. The organization may or may not have a legitimate corporate or business charter along with a fake or legally assigned tax ID number.
The most difficult wire fraud scams committed via telephone use the name of a reputable organization or corporate name to defraud victims of money or property. Wire fraud may also be committed, internally, within an organization to defraud members of the same organization or entity. Wire fraud is not only a crime that subjects the public to property loss.
Wire fraud scams committed via broadcast communications are particularly difficult to detect because victims assume legitimacy because broadcast communications are subject to a high degree of regulation by the federal government and television and radio networks. Certain industries are more subject to a higher degree wire fraud suspicion like dishonest televangelist churches and psychic television infomercials because the transfer of services and money in these industries have a wide range of satisfaction.
Religious organizations who use television to build their organization are only subject to prosecution when the moneys they are collecting from adherents of a given are not used to support the faith or the causes the faith endorse. All industries are capable of committing wire fraud and these examples are not meant to disparage those psychics and televangelists who truly adhere to legal commerce.
The worst radio or television wire fraud scams happen in the wake of natural disasters and other such catastrophes in which masses of people are dispossessed of a home or killed. Everyone should have a heightened awareness of potential wire fraud scams during these unfortunate times. Typically, charity infomercials on TV are safeguarded from fraud because national television networks are subject to civil liability as a result of giving a dishonest organization a safe haven to broadcast their dishonest operations.
Wire fraud that occur in relation to disaster relief operations are subject to more investigation and harsher penalties if any scam is uncovered. It is of critical importance to donate to charitable organizations of good repute and have an excellent record with the Better Business Bureau or have a long heritage of philanthropy.
Wire fraud is also applicable to Internet communications that of all types of media. Fraudulent Internet communications designed to defraud unsuspecting victims of a visual or textual nature also fall within the scope of wire fraud statutes. These websites may or may not use a third party organization to disperse their fraudulent behavior.
Websites like YouTube and Facebook are constantly monitoring their user published content to ensure that they are not providing a safe haven for wire fraud scams. Non-third party websites that use false pretenses to illegally gain property or money maintain the appearance of legitimacy through the use of websites that look professionally designed.
Wire fraud of this type occurs at a greater frequency in the aftermath of disasters and holidays when philanthropy is more common. This method of wire fraud is not limited to websites of fake charitable organizations. Shopping websites and other commercial related websites offer a product or service for a fee without any reciprocation; this behavior also qualifies as wire fraud.