A New Jersey Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer Discusses Federal Mail Fraud

A New Jersey Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer Discusses Federal Mail Fraud

wire fraudA New Jersey federal criminal defense lawyer takes a close look at what constitutes federal mail fraud and what to do if you have been accused of this crime.

The Federal Mail Fraud Statute

Under Federal Statute 18 U.S.C. 1341 – Frauds And Swindles, federal mail fraud occurs essentially when an individual tries to cheat or cause another individual to cheat someone by means of the U.S. Postal Service or any other carrier that delivers mail or packages across state lines. The law has broad applications and could at some point be exercised against practically anyone. After all, we all use the mail.

The Question Of Intent

Under federal law, however, you cannot commit mail fraud inadvertently. For federal charges to be brought against you, the prosecution must have reason to believe that you knew what you were doing and meant to cheat someone of money or other valuables. Then they have to prove it. It is this question of intent that you and your New Jersey federal criminal defense attorney must address in your defense.

Deception Is Not Enough

The object of mail fraud generally is to induce the victim to turn over money while receiving nothing in return by means of trickery. Illusory or less-than-reliable claims of products or services offered are not sufficient grounds for mail fraud if the services or products are legal and forthcoming. A sales letter with something resembling a check inside promising you a rebate on a product is not mail fraud if a disclaimer states that it is not a check and the rebate is real. There is a difference between such a sales letter and a material representation. A material representation is designed to trigger an action on the part of the recipient based on false information in order to get something for nothing. The victim would never normally have taken such an action had the false information not led him or her to it. The information in the letter may be factually true, but if the letter were part of a larger scheme to cheat the recipient it is still considered mail fraud. Even if the scheme fails, the attempt to defraud can be grounds for charges to be brought.

The Potential Penalties are Severe

Mail fraud is serious and can carry severe penalties upon conviction. The potential penalties include such consequences as years in prison, extremely high fines, forfeiture of assets, and restitution.

If You Are Charged

If you or a loved one are charged with or under investigation for federal mail fraud, you should immediately call a New Jersey federal criminal defense attorney experienced in federal mail fraud cases. You can contact Tim Anderson at (732) 212-2812 to discuss such a case.

A New Jersey Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer Discusses Federal Mail Fraud

Mail and Wire Fraud

What is a fraud?

Typically, a fraud occurs when someone is deceived in order to obtain money, property or services from them.

What is Mail and Wire fraud?

The federal mail and wire fraud statutes cover most any type of fraud that in some way uses the “mail” or “wire.” “Mail” includes not only the United States Postal Service but also any mailings sent through a private commercial carrier. “Wire” includes the use of a telephone, television, radio, internet, computer or other communication device. To prove mail or wire fraud, a prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant somehow used the mail or other communication device to perpetrate a scheme with the intent to commit fraud. Frequently, mail and wire fraud charges are used in conjunction with more specific type of fraud charges, such as bank fraud or insider trading.

What should I do if I am charged with mail or wire fraud or I am believe I am being investigated?

Mail fraud or wire fraud is a serious charge with severe consequences. An indictment of mail or wire fraud will be based upon a significant and detailed investigation. It is important to discuss your rights, potential defenses and case strategies with an experienced white collar defense attorney if you believe that you may be under investigation or as soon as you are indicted. Early preparation by an experienced defense lawyer can increase your chances of a favorable outcome, including the possibility of you not being charged or of charges being dropped.

If you are being investigated for or have been charged with mail or wire fraud, the Law Offices of Timothy R. Anderson can help. Tim Anderson has extensive experience in handling mail and wire fraud cases.