A large percentage of federal indictments are for mail or wire fraud. These charges are often easier to prove than the underlying crime and allow prosecutors to cast a wider net. A conviction for mail or wire fraud is punished just as severely as other fraud charges, which gives the prosecution substantial leverage.
Mail Fraud and Wire Fraud are closely related. They can be standalone charges, but more commonly are included in a multiple-count indictment. Mail Fraud means using the U.S. mail in any way to further a fraud or a conspiracy to defraud. Wire fraud refers to any electronic device or electronic communication used in the furtherance of a fraud — phone or cellphone conversations, emails or text messages, Internet use, faxes or wire transfers. The definition of wire fraud is expanding as new technologies proliferate, and may extend to additional charges such as money laundering or obstruction of justice.
Often times, innocent people or lower level individuals in a criminal conspiracy can get caught up in a broad fraud investigation. For example, a doctor was recruited by a medical company that was subsequently accused of defrauding patients. The doctor was charged with mail fraud simply because he performed and billed for medical procedures. Physical evidence or an electronic trail is incredibly hard to refute.
However, the prosecution must also prove criminal intent. Our firm has successfully defended many clients by showing that they were not willingly, knowingly or intentionally involved in any collusion to defraud. By intervening early in investigations, our attorneys have been able to affect the government’s charging decisions, such as fewer counts, lesser charges or no charges filed at all. The circumstances of your specific case will dictate the direction our firm will take, but we will exhaust every possible defense and present every mitigating factor. Our goal is to avoid or minimize prison time and limit the impact on professional licenses or employment, and on your life, your family and your future.
If you believe you are under investigation for mail fraud/wire fraud, it is critical to seek legal counsel before talking to investigator.