Allegations of Mail or Wire Fraud
An allegation of mail or wire fraud is serious and can jeopardize your personal and professional future. When faced with an allegation of mail or wire fraud, you need an experienced white collar criminal defense attorney who can provide you an aggressive and well planned defense designed to either avoid prosecution altogether or to minimize any potential criminal penalties.
Robert M. Wilson, of Kimball & Wilson LLP, has decades of experience in the area of white collar crime and has represented clients accused of mail or wire fraud by federal law enforcement agencies and prosecution by the United States Attorney’s Office in federal court.
The mail and wire fraud statutes are the most commonly used in federal fraud prosecutions.
18 U.S.C. §1343, provides as following:
Whoever, having devised or intending to devise any scheme or artifice to defraud, or for obtaining money or property by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises, transmits or causes to be transmitted by means of wire, radio or television communication in interstate or foreign commerce, any writings, signs, signals, pictures, or sounds for the purpose of executing such scheme or artifice, shall be fined not more than $1,000,000 or imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both.”
The mail and wire fraud statutes are identical to each other and the only difference between them is that to be convicted under the mail fraud statute, any use of the mails is sufficient, but to be convicted under the wire fraud statute, the wire transmission must actually be an interstate or foreign.
In order to obtain conviction under the mail fraud statute, the government must prove (1) a scheme to defraud and (2) use of interstate wire in furtherance of that scheme. To convict under the wire fraud statute, the government must show that interstate or foreign wires were used in furtherance of the scheme.
Not every mailing will qualify as basis for prosecution. For instance, regular mailings conducted in the course of legitimate business activity are not illegal if they are not part of the illegal scheme.
A scheme to defraud must necessarily be based on the intent to defraud. The government must establish that the defendant had the specific intent to defraud. As a part of this requirement, the prosecution must prove that the defendant willfully participated in a scheme and that he or she was aware of its fraudulent nature.
The term “scheme to defraud” means that the defendant misrepresents or omits information for the purpose of deceiving others. The fraud scheme may involve defrauding individuals of money or other tangible property interests as well as actions directed to intangible rights and interests. The latter is used in corruption, bribery, and vote fraud prosecutions.
The mail and wire fraud statutes are also used in prosecutions of investment and loan frauds, especially the advance fee scheme, where a victim pays an up-front fee for a promised service, which is never delivered.
It is important to realize that in a mail fraud prosecution, it does not matter whether the scheme was successful or that the victim has actually been defrauded. All the government need to prove is that the defendant actually engaged in illegal activity intended with the intent to defraud and used the mails in furtherance of the scheme.
Lead by experienced white collar criminal defense attorney Robert M. Wilson, we take pride in our ability to fully examine each and every aspect of your case. We offer thorough representation and construct a strong and ethical defense on your behalf.