Federal wire fraud charges and social media communications

Federal wire fraud charges and social media communications

On Behalf of | Jun 22, 2023 | Criminal Defense

Allegations of felony wire fraud could result from actions taken while using social media networks. The United States Department of Justice notes that using electronic communications as part of a “scheme” may fall within the elements of wire fraud.

When faced with allegations of breaking federal laws, defendants may counter the claims. Prosecutors, for example, need to show that an individual had an intent to defraud by using electronic messages. To prove or disprove the allegations, the court may review posts made to an online network or private messages sent to other users.

Investigators may search through internet communications to find evidence

Federal investigators may scour social media networks to search for evidence of misconduct. Their findings may lead to filing felony charges. As reported on Investor.gov, discussing certain types of information electronically may raise suspicions of fraud.

If internet users claim that someone posted false messages about a company’s stock or business practices, government officials may initiate an investigation. Officials may also find that individuals posted messages on a particular website that do not reflect truthful or factual information. Posting or communicating inaccurate information, even if done unintentionally, may possibly lead to allegations of wire fraud.

Online popularity may carry risks

As noted on the Federal Trade Commission’s website, some social media users may not reliably distinguish between commercial ads and certain posts made by popular “influencers.” Prosecutors may allege that suspected influencers created a scheme to share false messages to sell scam services or products.

Social media networks allow users to share various types of content, but some postings may resemble signs of alleged wire fraud. Similar messages posted by different users may in some cases appear as a coordinated scheme. Charged individuals may, however, counter the government’s evidence.