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What is Wire Fraud - 18 U.S.C. 1343


18 U.S.C. 1343 defines the elements of Wire Fraud.

The elements of wire fraud (18 USC 1343) are the same as for mail fraud. With the internet replacing mail as the primary means of information sharing, wire fraud is more common than mail fraud.

The essential elements of both wire fraud and mail fraud are:

(1) having devised or intending to devise a scheme to defraud (or to perform specified fraudulent acts)

(2) use of the mail for the purpose of executing, or attempting to execute, the scheme (or specified fraudulent acts).

Wire fraud requires the use of an interstate electronic communication made in furtherance of a criminal scheme. For lawyers, the case titled United States v. Frey, 42 F.3d 795, 797 (3d Cir. 1994) established the precedent that wire fraud is identical to mail fraud statute except that it requires communications transmitted by wire. Of course, the word “wire” also includes “wireless” !