There are both federal statutes and state laws that make various types of fraud illegal. Anyone who lies to others for the purpose of securing resources could find themselves accused of fraud. Financial crimes may target individuals or businesses, and they can lead to allegations ranging from wire fraud to insurance fraud.
White-collar criminal charges can lead to large fines and also jail time. In some cases, people may be subject to harsh federal sentencing rules. Many individuals accused of financial crimes will end up in federal court rather than in state court.
Why does the federal government frequently prosecute fraud offenses instead of having the states prosecute?
Fraud often involves federal resources
It is common for significant fraud offenses to involve the Federal Reserve or interstate telecommunications.
For example, someone might call a person about to close on a home and provide inaccurate wiring instructions for the mortgage funding process or send an email tricking another person into giving them personal financial information. When the alleged incident involves the use of the federal banking system or telecommunications, federal prosecution is likely.
Fraud often crosses state lines
It is quite common for fraud incidents to involve people or businesses in more than one location. Interstate criminal activity is subject to federal prosecution. Additionally, investigating crimes that cross state boundaries will often involve federal regulatory agencies, which will then also lead to federal prosecution.
Regardless of whether someone’s wire fraud charges will lead them to federal or state court, they will likely require support to defend themselves. Learning more about white collar criminal charges can help those hoping to fight back against criminal allegations.