Fort Myers Federal Mail & Wire Fraud Defense Lawyers
At Foley & Wilson Law Firm in Fort Myers, we pride ourselves on our profound understanding of the complexities of federal criminal defense. Our legal team, including a former federal prosecutor and FBI Special Agent, brings over 45 years of experience to the table, offering deep insight into the federal criminal justice system. We are dedicated to delivering the highest level of professional representation, treating our clients with dignity and respect, and employing a high degree of skill and professionalism. When facing serious allegations such as federal mail and wire fraud, our firm stands as a bastion of support and expertise. Contact our experienced Fort Myers mail & wire fraud defense lawyers today.
Understanding Federal Mail and Wire Fraud Statutes
Mail and wire fraud are serious offenses under the United States Code, located at 18 U.S.C. 1341 (Mail Fraud) and 18 U.S.C. 1343 (Wire Fraud). These statutes encompass a wide range of fraudulent activities using either the mail or electronic communication to execute or attempt to execute a scheme to defraud.
Mail and wire fraud act as the federal government’s safety net for charging individuals with fraud offenses. When a specific federal statute applying an offense is not available, the Feds can, in certain circumstances, use mail or wire fraud as a catch-all to charge someone who facilitated a fraud by depositing a check or using the United States postal service, telephone, email, or fax. Mailing anything using UPS, FedEx, or other interstate carrier likewise makes you susceptible to a charge of mail fraud. Mail and wire fraud are discussed in more detail below.
Mail Fraud (18 U.S.C. 1341)
Mail fraud involves the use of the United States Postal Service or any interstate mail carrier to commit acts of fraud. This statute is broad, covering everything from traditional mail fraud to sophisticated financial schemes. Elements of Mail Fraud that must be proven to convict include:
- Intent: The existence of a scheme to defraud.
- Use of Mail: The use of mail services in the execution of the fraudulent scheme.
- Material Deception: The scheme involved material misstatements or omissions.
Wire Fraud (18 U.S.C. 1343)
Similarly, wire fraud involves the use of electronic communications or transmissions, including telephone lines, the internet, and other forms of electronic communication, in furtherance of a fraudulent scheme. Elements of Wire Fraud include:
- Intent: A scheme devised to defraud.
- Use of Electronic Communications: Utilizing wire, radio, or television communications in interstate or foreign commerce.
- Material Deception: Employing material deceptions to achieve the fraudulent goal.
Potential Penalties for Conviction of Mail or Wire Fraud
Convictions under these statutes can lead to severe penalties, including substantial fines and monetary penalties, often proportional to the amount defrauded. Lengthy imprisonment is also possible, with sentences ranging up to 20 years for each offense, and even longer if the fraud affects a financial institution or is connected to a federally declared disaster.
Remember, the government is not entitled to a conviction unless it can prove every element of the alleged offense beyond a reasonable doubt. To fight against a conviction, you have the benefit of a skilled and knowledgeable defense attorney who will meticulously go over the prosecution’s case and challenge every aspect where the government’s case falls short. Common defenses to federal mail and wire fraud charges include:
- Lack of Intent: Proving that there was no intent to defraud is a common defense. Since both mail and wire fraud require intent, demonstrating a lack of fraudulent intent can be a key defense strategy.
- Absence of a Scheme: Disproving the existence of a scheme or showing that the actions taken were not fraudulent can negate the charges.
- No Material Misrepresentation: Arguing that any misrepresentations were not material to the alleged fraud can be a valid defense.
- Good Faith: Establishing a good faith belief in the truthfulness of the statements or representations made can counteract allegations of fraud.
Foley & Wilson Law Firm: Your Advocate in Federal Mail and Wire Fraud Defense in Fort Myers
At Foley & Wilson Law Firm, we understand the gravity of facing federal mail and wire fraud charges. Our team’s unique background as former federal prosecutors equips us with a deep understanding of federal fraud cases. We approach each case with the utmost professionalism as we work toward a successful outcome on your behalf. Our commitment is to provide you with the best defense strategy tailored to your specific situation. If you are facing federal mail or wire fraud charges in Fort Myers, contact Foley & Wilson Law Firm today to discuss your case and explore your legal options.