Down to the Wire – What is Wire Fraud and What are Mississippi Laws Surrounding It?

According to Forbes, a cast member of Bravo’s Real Housewives of Salt Lake City, was sentenced to six and a half (6.5) years in prison and five (5) years of supervised release after pleading guilty for the role she played in running a nationwide telemarketing fraud scheme. The cast member and her right-hand man were arrested in 2021 and charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with telemarketing. The Department of Justice stated that the cast member “defrauded hundreds of victims” and “generated and sold ‘lead lists’ of innocent individuals for other members of their scheme to repeatedly scam.” The Department of Justice continued on to say that the cast member built her lavish lifestyle “at the expense of vulnerable, often elderly, working-class people.” 

Wire fraud is quickly becoming an epidemic. According to an FBI report, in 2021, over $6.9 billion was lost to cybercrime, far surpassing the previous year’s by nearly $2 billion. Some common examples of wire fraud include but are not limited to online phishing scams, unauthorized payments, and telemarketing schemes.

What is Wire Fraud Legally Speaking?

Although almost identical to the federal offense of mail fraud, the means of communication used for wire fraud are slightly different. Wire fraud involves any scheme intended to defraud another person by using electronic communications whether it be across state lines or internationally, according to Justia. Wire fraud is considered to be a criminal offense under federal law. In fact, the federal wire fraud statute specifically mentions wire, radio, and television communications, however, many fraud offenses involving computers and the internet are also included.

Mississippi Laws on Wire Fraud & Its Penalties

Although wire fraud is a federal offense, Mississippi has a similar law to govern such an offense within the state. To constitute wire fraud at the most basic level under Mississippi law, an individual must carry out or intend to carry out any scheme or plan to defraud another individual for the purpose of obtaining some kind of money, property or service. This could be as simple as securing business or a personal advantage by making false or fraudulent representations or promises to another person. Regardless, the key in wire fraud is that the scheme or plan carried out or intended to be carried out must be transmitted by mail, telephone, newspaper, radio, television, wire, or other means of communication which cross county or state jurisdictional lines. 

Additionally, an individual may be found guilty of wire fraud even if he or she never actually defrauded anyone, and even if he or she did not personally send a fraudulent wire, radio, or television transmission, according to Justia. If convicted of wire fraud, an individual may face a maximum fine of Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000). They could also face a term of imprisonment for a maximum of five (5) years. In some cases, an individual may face both a fine and imprisonment as punishment for committing wire fraud. 

Finding an Attorney

If you have been searching the Mississippi area for a qualified, experienced criminal defense attorney, look no further than Vic Carmody Jr., P.A. Over the years, we have helped numerous offenders pursue favorable outcomes. Although being accused of a crime is not a pleasant experience, there are many potential defense strategies that can be used to defend and reduce the charges against an offender. Call/contact us today for your free consultation to learn more.

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