White Collar Crimes are violations of laws involving theft in one form or another. These offenses involve transactions where misrepresentations are made which cause individuals to part with their money.
Most business transactions involve the internet, telephone and/or mail. In order to be guilty of Mail Fraud or Wire Fraud it is necessary that the person charged with the crime cause the use of the mail or internet for the purpose of carrying out the crime. It is not necessary that the person charged actually do the mailing or use the internet him or herself or even specifically intend that the mail or internet be used. It is sufficient if it was foreseeable that the mail or internet would be used by a participant in the scheme.
Another example of Wire Fraud involves the use of the internet crimes for the sale of goods. An individual might list an item or items for sale on Ebay or Craig’s list. Individuals send money and the item is never sent to the buyer. The sentence in these cases would be determined in large part by the amount of loss to the victim or victims in these cases.
Specific Intent is Required in any Fraud case. The government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the individual knowingly made a false representation with the intent to defraud. Specific intent to defraud can be proved in a number of ways including non-action or non-disclosure of material facts intended to create a false or fraudulent representation. A defendant may negate the specific intent requirement by arguing that they had a “good-faith” belief in the truth of the misrepresentation.