White collar crimes cover a range of offenses, many of which end up in federal courts. Federal charges often mean the risk of harsh mandatory sentences for convictions. Such charges also require the accused to fight against the vast resources of state and federal governments. Wire fraud is one example of criminal charges that may come after a lengthy federal investigation.
Wire fraud involves the use of electronic communications, such as phone, internet or a wire transfer of funds. Wire fraud often goes hand-in-hand with other charges, such as conspiracy or money laundering. In fact, several people, including a former member of the Mississippi Department of Education, are facing wire fraud charges related to the misuse of public funds.
Federal convictions lead to harsh sentences
A federal grand jury indictment alleges that a 45-year-old woman misused her position as Executive Director of the MDE by conspiring with three business owners who provided goods and services to the state. The business owners also face federal charges of wire fraud and conspiracy. The former director, however, is also charged with bribery and money laundering. Investigators say the woman rigged contract bids, altered purchase orders and falsified project quotes to benefit the three business owners. The scheme allegedly netted over $650,000 for the businesses.
A conviction for a single federal conspiracy charge can lead to 20 years in prison. Wire fraud convictions can also result in decades behind bars. With so much at stake, those dealing with such criminal matters would be wise to obtain quality legal representation.