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What to Do If You’re Charged with Wire Fraud

A man and a woman holding hands through a Jail cell's bars.

According to NBC News, Michael Avenatti recently pleaded guilty to one count of endeavoring to obstruct administration of the Internal Revenue Code and four counts of wire fraud in California. Avenatti, who is already serving time for stealing money from former client Stormy Daniels and extorting Nike, represented himself in this latest case.

Avenatti admitted to stealing millions of dollars from clients. Reportedly, Avenatti would receive money on behalf of his clients via trust accounts, misappropriate the money, and then lie to his clients about what happened to the money.

If Avenatti receives the maximum sentences for all the crimes he pled guilty to, he could face up to 83 years in prison.

What Is Wire Fraud?

Wire fraud can include a wide range of crimes. It is considered a white collar crime. White collar crimes are nonviolent crimes involving dishonesty and deception. Usually, white collar crimes involve financial crimes and/or the theft of high-value assets. Crimes that can earn someone a wire fraud charge include the following elements:

  • The person committing wire fraud intended to defraud someone
  • Interstate wire communications devices (any device that sends and receives messages across state lines—telephones, cell phones, computers, et cetera) were used to commit the fraud
  • It was reasonable for interstate communications to be a necessary part of the fraud

What Happens If You’re Convicted of Wire Fraud?

The punishments for a wire fraud conviction can varying depending on the details of the case. In general, a wire fraud conviction in California can lead to a person facing the following penalties:

  • Up to 20 years in prison (if the fraud didn’t involve a national bank or similar type of financial institution)
  • Up to 30 years in prison if the crime involved a national bank or similar type of financial institution (or if the fraud contributed to a financial disaster)
  • Up to $1,000,000 in fines

Our Experienced White Collar Crimes Defense Attorneys Can Help with Wire Fraud Charges

Our white collar crime defense lawyers at Appel & Morse have over 40 years of combined legal experience. If you have been charged with wire fraud, we can help you. Our experienced wire fraud defense attorneys can help you avoid legal pitfalls that could cost you years in prison and thousands of dollars in restitution and fines.

For more information about how we can help you, give us a call at (805) 467-6060 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation. We are available to meet during regular business hours or evenings and weekends.

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