White collar crimes are distinguished from other types of crime in that they are financially motivated and do not involve the use or threat of violence. While these crimes may seem less serious than others, authorities treat white collar crimes very seriously by aggressively enforcing the laws and pursuing offenders. The potential penalties for white collar crimes can include significant fines, restitution, probation, and even jail time in some cases. Fortunately for people who are accused of white collar crimes, there are many potential defenses an experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to raise to mitigate any legal consequences you may be facing. As a result, it is important for individuals who are facing an Illinois white collar crime charges to retain a defense lawyer as soon as they realize they are under investigation or have formally been accused of a crime.

Wire Fraud in Illinois

Wire fraud is a commonly prosecuted white collar crime in state and federal courts. Generally speaking, wire fraud involves using electronic communications such as radio, telephone, or email to intentionally defraud another of their property through scheme or artifice. Wire fraud is illegal under both state and federal law, with federal law applying in situations where the communication at issue took place across state lines. There are many examples of schemes that could potentially result in a wire fraud case. Some of the more common include the following:

  • Ponzi schemes
  • Pyramid schemes
  • Fraudulently obtaining lines of credit
  • Check kiting
  • Money laundering
  • Identity theft
  • Internet fraud
  • Embezzlement
  • Tax evasion
  • Telemarketing fraud
  • Phishing schemes
  • Mortgage fraud
  • Investment fraud
  • Insurance fraud

These are just a few examples of the kinds of schemes that could fall under the wire fraud statute. Sometimes, federal or state prosecutors bring a wire fraud case when the conduct in question does not fall neatly under other existing criminal statutes. In these cases, a defense attorney may be able to challenge the sufficiency of the state’s evidence and may be able to have the entire case dropped.

Federal Penalties for Wire Fraud

Under 18 U.S.C. § 1343, wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and possible fines. If, however, the fraud is committed against a financial institution or occurs in connection with a presidentially declared major disaster or emergency, a person can be fined up to $1,000,000 and sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Contact a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney Today to Schedule a Free Consultation

Anyone facing a wire fraud or other white collar criminal case in the Chicagoland area should contact Goldman & Associates today to schedule a free consultation. The assistance of an attorney can often be pivotal in obtaining a positive resolution to your case and minimizing any legal consequences you may be facing. To schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers, call our office today at (773) 484-3131 or (847) 215-2600. If you would prefer to send us an email, please fill out our online contact form available here.