Mail fraud and wire fraud charges are often brought together and, typically, are add-on charges used to increase the potential punishment. Many times mail fraud and wire fraud indictments are pursued when the prosecutors do not have sufficient evidence to make other charges stick. That being said, these cases still must be taken seriously.
Mail fraud occurs when the defendant uses the U.S. Postal Service (or a private carrier) in an effort to intentionally defraud another party of money or property. Wire fraud occurs when the defendant uses a telephone, email, fax or other form of electronic communication in the commission of such a fraudulent scheme. Common examples of fraudulent schemes that involve wire fraud and/or mail fraud include:
When proving charges of mail or wire fraud, the government is required to prove the defendant used deception with the intent to defraud the victim. It is important to understand that you do not have to wire or mail fraudulent information to be charged. If your scheme results in alleged victim mailings or wiring funds, you can be charged. Additionally, each separate mailing or wiring constitutes its own count of fraud. This means that if you mailed 100 envelopes at the post office, you could be facing 100 counts of fraud in a federal indictment.
If you are convicted of mail fraud or wire fraud, you could be facing significant punishments including prison time and costly fines. This is true for one single act of mail or wire fraud, which is multiplied for each count you are facing. If you have been charged with mail and/or wire fraud, contact us immediately.