Mail Fraud and Wire Fraud
The federal government takes a keen interest in fraud that is furthered through the use of the mail or electronic communications, even when the fraud does not necessarily cross state borders. No matter the mail carrier, if fraudulent schemes are perpetrated through the mail, the U.S. government has prosecutorial jurisdiction.
The federal charge of wire fraud is used when an advertisement over television, telephone, the Internet, or another form of electronic communication makes false representations to the effect of swindling people out of money.
Salt Lake City Defense Lawyer for Mail and Wire Fraud
The federal government has the leeway to charge you with many years in federal prison for mail and wire fraud. Getting the information that you have been charged in federal court with fraud can seem like an impossible burden. If you are facing mail or wire fraud charges, call Levitt Legal, PLLC right away. The sooner you retain competent legal defense, the better position you are in to flesh out all the pertinent details of the case.
Call (801) 455-1743 to schedule a free phone or in-person consultation. Attorney Darren Levitt has the experience and knowledge necessary to guide you in your fraud case.
Wire and Mail Fraud Information Center
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Mail Fraud Statutes
Title 18 U.S. Code § 1341, Frauds and Swindles, lays out the offense of mail fraud. Mail fraud is committed when an act of fraud is perpetrated through the use of the U.S. Postal Service or any interstate mail carrier. Examples of mail fraud include sending false information through the mail in order to secure government benefits, using false addresses and false identifications to defraud public and private entities, misrepresentation in advertising such that a person pays for one thing only to receive a much lower value item, and get-rich-quick schemes, among many other scenarios.
The federal government will prosecute those it believes to be involved with the attempt or conspiracy to commit mail fraud, so charges can be brought without a single letter having been sent and can ensnare a number of people with varying levels of knowledge and responsibility.
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Defining Wire Fraud
Wire fraud, detailed in Title 18 U.S. Code § 1343, was added in 1952 and mirrors the crime of mail fraud except that the misrepresentation involves the use of wire, radio, television, Internet, and other forms of electronic communication, in interstate or foreign commerce.
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Penalties for Mail and Wire Fraud
Penalties for mail fraud and wire fraud range into the extremely harsh but are widely variable. If convicted of a first-offense, the defendant can face up to 20 years. Depending on the scale of the plot, the penalty may instead be several years’ probation with no jail time. The prison sentence increases to a maximum 30 years per offense if the victim party is a financial institution or a federal disaster relief agency.
In addition to heavy fines, restitution to victims may be required and can run into the millions. Additionally, property can be seized to pay for restitution.
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Mail Fraud and Wire Fraud Defenses
To prove guilt of mail fraud, the prosecution must prove:
- A scheme to defraud another person or organization out of money;
- Making materially false representations;
- Use of a mail carrier.
To prove guilt of wire fraud, the prosecution must prove the use of an electronic form of communication in interstate or foreign commerce.
The use of the mail or electronic communication does not have to be central in the scheme. Rather than marketing pieces that contain overstated descriptions of a legitimate product or service, a fraud will have material misrepresentations with the intention of delivering nothing or something with no value.
Common types of mail and wire fraud include:
- Mortgage fraud
- Email fraud
- Identity theft
- Ponzi schemes
- Pyramid schemes
- Sweepstakes fraud
- Inheritance scams
- Employment fraud
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Salt Lake City Lawyer Practicing Federal Mail and Wire Fraud Defense
Rather than fraud prosecuted at the state level, mail and wire fraud is in the jurisdiction of the federal government. You need a lawyer who is licensed and knowledgeable of the federal court system. Levitt Legal, PLLC will expertly defend you and follow each lead to build your case.
Call (801) 455-1743 or send a message immediately to schedule a free consultation. Levitt Legal, PLLC will review the charges against you right away and begin to investigate the alleged mail or wire fraud.