Wire fraud quotation

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"The appellants operated a Los Angeles based corporation called 'Sources Unlimited' which engaged in 'skip-tracing'; i. e., the process of locating debtors who have 'skipped-out' on unpaid bills.  Its customers included major corporations, banks and, in one instance, the Los Angeles Police Department.  In an attempt to locate a particular individual, Sources Unlimited would call telephone company offices and/or United States post office branches, representing themselves as telephone or postal employees, and request confidential internal information concerning telephone customers or post office box holders."

"Admittedly, in most wire fraud cases, the scheme to defraud has been an underlying scheme to obtain tangible property which is furthered by the use of wire communications . . . .  The object of the scheme to defraud here was, in contrast, to obtain intangible, commercial information which the telephone company and post office chose to keep confidential and which its customers expected would remain confidential. There was a loss to the subscribers of their right to privacy, and telephone subscribers and post office box holders were being deprived of part of the service for which they were paying."

"We conclude and hold under the foregoing analysis that the acts and conduct of the appellants constitute a prosecutable scheme to defraud within the tenor of [18 U.S.C. 1343]."