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CRM 500-999

953. Use of a Wire Communication in Interstate or Foreign Commerce

The statute requires a transmission in interstate or foreign commerce. See United States v. Mann, 884 F.2d 532, 536 (10th Cir. 1989); see also United States v. Van Cawenberghe, 827 F.2d 424, 430 (9th Cir. 1987) (telex transmission was in interstate commerce because its path included the interstate transmission from New York to Los Angeles), cert. denied, 484 U.S. 1024 (1988). Accordingly, an intrastate transmission does not constitute an offense. See Boruff v. United States, 310 F.2d 918 (5th Cir. 1962).

QUERY: What is the definition of Foreign Commerce?

In 1956 the wire fraud statute was amended to include transmissions in "foreign commerce." Pub.L. No. 84-688, 70 Stat. 523 (1956). Generally, the term "foreign commerce" is defined as including "commerce with a foreign country." 18 U.S.C. § 10; see generally, United States v. Goldberg, 830 F.2d 459, 461-65 (3d Cir. 1987) (wire fraud arising from the transfer of funds by wire from Montreal, Canada to Nassau, Bahamas caused by telephone calls that originated from the United States), and 830 F.2d at 468 n. 1 (J. Sloviter, dissenting in part and concurring in part) ("[T]he examples in the legislative history of 'foreign commerce' to which the amended provision was to apply all included transmissions between a foreign country and the United States.") (citing S.Rep. No. 1873, 84th Cong., 2d Sess. 2-3 (1956); H.R.Rep. No. 2385, 84th Cong., 2d Sess. 1-2 (1956)).

[cited in JM 9-43.100]