When facing allegations of wire fraud locally, just the name is scary alone. It is a serious crime that involves the use of any electronic communications, like phones, social media, emails, etc. for financial gains through deceit. It can take an almost incalculable number of forms. But, some of the most common wire fraud scams include identity theft, investment schemes and phishing scams. Though, how is it treated in New York?
Wire fraud in New York City
Our city has its own wire fraud and general fraud laws that are enforced by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs and the New York City Police Department. Both can investigate complaints of wire fraud and take legal action against both businesses and individuals who violate fraud laws. The NYPD criminally charges for wire fraud, but the DCA can issue fines, revoke licenses and order restitution for alleged wire fraud victims.
Wire fraud in New York State
New York State has another regulatory scheme to combat wire fraud. The New York State Attorney General’s Office enforces state consumer protection laws, in addition to prosecuting criminal wire fraud cases. Though, the NYPD can also make these arrests too.
Wire fraud at the federal level
Wire fraud at the federal level is enforced by investigated by an alphabet soup of agencies including the Department of Justice (prosecuting federal cases of wire fraud), Federal Bureau of Investigation (investigations), the Internal Revenue Service (investigation) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (investigations and civil prosecutions). Both the FBI and the IRS OIG can also make arrests, but the actual prosecution is done by the DOJ, except for civil prosecutions done by the SEC.
The consequences of wire fraud
The consequences for wire fraud are expansive, especially as you could face consequences at multiple levels. You could have face prosecution locally, and then face additional charges federally. Wire fraud convictions routinely have prison sentences up to 20 years, but depending on the facts have enhancements up to 30 years and fines up to $1 million, in addition to civil lawsuits, tax penalties, asset forfeiture, restitution, etc.