Mail and Wire Fraud
Mail and wire fraud encompass all white collar schemes to defraud that are perpetrated through the use of mail or wire services. The scheme can be any sort of scam, including investment scams, check kiting, and Ponzi schemes. What characterizes these schemes as mail or wire fraud is the use of electronic communications, phones, email, fax machines, the public mail system, or a private mail carrier to conduct the fraud. Sometimes mail or wire fraud is charged alongside health care fraud charges, mortgage fraud charges, insurance fraud charges, securities fraud charges, and tax fraud charges. You can face significant penalties for mail and wire fraud convictions. It is critical to retain a Clearwater mail fraud lawyer as soon as you realize that you are being investigated or immediately after being charged. Hanlon Law protects the rights of the accused.Laws Governing Mail and Wire Fraud
Both federal and state laws punish the use of mail and electronic communications systems to conduct or further a scheme to defraud. The state law prohibiting mail and wire fraud is the Florida Communications Fraud Act. This law was designed to address operators of schemes to defraud who use communications technology to solicit victims and conceal their true identities, thereby overcoming a victim's normal resistance to pressure by providing a personalized sales message. Schemes to defraud include systematic, ongoing courses of conduct that are committed with an intent to defraud at least one person or to get property from at least one person through false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, willful misrepresentations, or promises of a future act. Every fraudulent communication that a prosecutor can show that you sent through the mail or communicated electronically will be charged as a separate fraud count.
Under the Florida Communications Fraud Act, the particular kind of mail or wire system that you used does not need to be a crucial aspect of the fraud. Simply calling someone and mentioning an aspect of the scheme can result in a conviction. Additionally, you can face mail and wire fraud charges even if you simply intended to defraud somebody but never actually succeeded. The assistance of a mail fraud attorney in the Clearwater area is still essential in this situation. If you are caught making 10 communications, you can face 10 counts of mail and wire fraud.
Who the victim is can affect the sentence. You can face up to 30 years in prison when certain types of victims are involved. If you are trying to obtain $300 or more through the fraud, you can be charged with a third-degree felony. If you are trying to obtain an amount less than $300, you can be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor. However, if you try to defraud through the mail or wire, and you actually get property in this way, you may face organized fraud charges, which are felony charges. When the property obtained is at least $50,000, you may be convicted of a first-degree felony. When the property obtained is $20,000-$50,000, you may be convicted of a second-degree felony. When the property obtained is less than $20,000, you may be convicted of a third-degree felony.
Mail or wire fraud is also a federal crime involving the intentional and knowing creation of a scheme to defraud another party. Mail fraud and wire fraud are prosecuted aggressively and punished harshly, as a Clearwater mail fraud attorney can explain.
There are potential defenses that we can raise in connection with mail and wire fraud charges. As with other white collar or theft crimes, the prosecutor needs to establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In some cases, we can raise doubt about an element of the crime. In other cases, a Clearwater criminal lawyer can argue that you are being charged for a communication that did not relate to a scheme to defraud. In some cases, we might argue that you used exaggeration or other acceptable rhetorical techniques, so what you said did not rise to the level of fraud. In other cases, there may be constitutional or procedural violations that allow us to get critical evidence of the scheme to defraud or the communication itself suppressed.Hire an Aggressive Mail Fraud Lawyer in Clearwater
Mail and wire fraud charges can lead to a criminal record. Even after you complete time in prison, you can be followed by a conviction. A mail or wire fraud conviction can result in your not being able to obtain a professional license and becoming unemployable in your chosen profession. If you have a felony conviction of a white collar crime, whether it is mail fraud, wire fraud, identity theft, or health care fraud, you may find it hard to find a job or rent an apartment in which to live. Our firm's founder, Will Hanlon, has fought for the rights of the accused since 1994. You can call Hanlon Law at 727-897-5413 or complete our online form.