Are you facing charges of Federal Mail Fraud? Mail fraud may lead to criminal charges brought against you by federal authorities. If you’re under investigation for mail fraud or have been charged with it, you need an experienced federal criminal defense attorney who has the knowledge and skills needed to fight for you. Give us a call today, our lawyers have over 20 years of combined experience.
What is a Federal Mail Fraud?
Mail Fraud is a crime involving the scheme or pretense to defraud someone of money or property by using the United States Postal Service or any other private carrier to conduct such crime. Most schemes start on the internet; however, the law classifies as mail fraud if any part of the transaction involved the use of a mail system. Using any regional delivery method is sufficient to constitute mail fraud. Even if the initial crime committed didn’t have anything to do with the intent to defraud by mail, prosecutors may charge a person of mail fraud for any crime that involved a delivery service as a part of the criminal action. In all states, mail fraud is classified as a federal crime.
What does the prosecution have to proof for mail fraud charges?
To prove a conviction for mail fraud under Federal Law 940. 18 U.S.C. Section 1341 the prosecutor needs to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the following elements:
- The offender planned or intended to scheme or defraud another to obtain money or property by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises
- The offense involved a factual deception likely to influence or capable of influencing another to whom it was addressed
- The offender intended to deprive another party of money, property, or honest services, and
- The offender used the USPS or any other private or commercial carrier to carry out such scheme or fabrication with intent to defraud
How to defend against Mail Fraud Charges?
An aggressive and experience defense attorney can help you by challenging false and unjust charges of mail fraud. Some defenses may include:
- Denying the fraud: Prosecutors have the burden of proving the fraud actually occurred. If the mail send was never used to further any fraudulent activity, then mail fraud charges are invalid
- Denying intent: Intent is a key factor in proving mail fraud, therefore, the prosecutor must prove intent to defraud. If a defendant did not intend to defraud anyone, the charges may be dismissed
- Denying the use of mail: Ultimately, mail fraud charges require the mail carrier was actually used in furtherance of the underlying fraud
What are the Penalties for Mail Fraud?
Whereas the specific charges for mail fraud vary significantly based on the circumstances of the case, the penalties for mail fraud can be severe. The potential prison time for a federal mail fraud can result in a sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison. Is important to note that such prison sentence may be higher if the scheme fraud involved a federal disaster relief or financial institution as a victim, in such cases the sentence may be up to 30 years.
In addition to prison time, high fines may also be imposed for such crime. A conviction for mail fraud can result in a fine of up to $250,000. If the fraud involved a financial institution or federal disaster relief, the fines could go up to $1 million per offense. If the mail fraud scheme was successful in defrauding someone of property or causes harm to a victim, the court will likely make restitution as part of the sentencing. Restitution means the defendant will have to pay the victims what was lost as a result of the fraud.
If you are facing mail fraud charges, you need an experienced attorney on your side who will make sure the jury sees enough holes in the prosecutor’s case to find enough doubt to convict. Our defense lawyers are prepared to review the allegations against you and craft the best defense strategy to protect your rights and your freedom.
Call Smith & Eulo Law Firm at 407-930-8912 to speak with a qualified legal professional or fill out the contact form on this page. We’re available 24/7 to discuss all the options. Even if you were convicted of a crime, it may be possible to have your record sealed or expunged.