New York Mail Fraud Lawyers
Attorneys at Joseph Potashnik and Associates represent clients in investigations and prosecutions of mail and wire fraud.
Mail and wire fraud charges are frequently used in federal cases. That is because the associated criminal statutes are drafted so that they comprise most business activities in the modern world. Any crime committed by means of the use of mails, telephone, and computers would fall into this category.
Federal prosecutors handling white-collar cases often use wire and mail fraud charges in other white-collar cases because they know that these charges can be used even when there is no real evidence to support any other criminal charges. Also, these charges are often added to the indictments because that gives prosecutors an upper hand in putting extra pressure on defendants and significantly increase potential sentences.
From Madison Avenue NYC office of Joseph Potashnik and Associates, our wire and mail fraud attorneys defend individuals charged with these and many other white-collar federal charges. We have built a solid track record of providing first-class successful representation to clients facing criminal investigations and prosecutions. With close to 80 years of joint experience, we have taken over 100 cases to jury trial and handled thousands of criminal matters, including some very complex white-collar cases in NYS and across the United States.
What Is Mail and Wire Fraud?
Under the mail fraud statute (Title 18 U.S.C. Section 1341) and the wire fraud statute (Section 1343), it is a crime to devise a fraudulent interstate or international scheme and execute it (or attempt to) with the use of such communication channels as federal post, wire, radio, television, Internet, or telegraph. Basically, it may constitute a crime to make a phone call or send an email to another state or country. There is hardly a federal criminal case without this charge. What the prosecutors need to prove is that there is some sort of logical connection between a communication act and a fraudulent scheme and that the person willfully participated in the act.
Fraud and Employment Relationships
One of frequently encountered triggers of such prosecutions is the deprivation of faithful and honest services. If a person interferes in the relationship between the employer and employee in order to make the latter fail to fulfil their duty, that person is depriving the employer of a lawful right. Fraud related to employment typically involves an employee with a conflict of interest, making a profit at the company’s expense and without the employer’s knowledge by either engaging in outright thefts from the company, by accepting illegal payments, or by stealing funds or diverting contracts from the employer to individuals or companies created by or connected to the employee. Such breaches of fiduciary duties often result in mail and wire fraud charges.
It is crucial to realize that it’s not even essential to utilize mail or electronic communications to reach the goals of the scheme, only that it had been done. For example, if you discuss the scheme with a co-conspirator by email or telephone, you could be committing a separate crime.
Also, you don’t need to actually use the communications yourself to commit the fraud. You could be committing it if you cause the victim to use the mail or wire.
One of the terrifying details of mail and wire fraud from the criminal defendant’s perspective is that each instance of using the federal communications is a separate crime, which will be charged separately resulting in multi-count indictments. The prosecution doesn’t need to prove all of them, just one. You could be charged with aiding fraud if you help someone perpetrate a crime, even if you don’t know about the scam, and each instance could be charged as a separate crime. At the same time, even though each mailing is a separate offense, the government is permitted to base a single count on any number of mailings.
Penalties and Consequences of These Offenses
Mail and wire fraud carries the maximum punishment of 20 years in prison, or 30 years, if a financial institution or federal disaster relief program is involved, – per single count. Apart from incarceration, defendants face full restitution of the harm caused as well as steep fines – up to 250,000 USD, or 1 mln USD in case a financial institution or federal disaster relief is involved.
Hire Our Mail and Wire Fraud Attorneys
Joseph Potashnik and his fellow criminal attorneys have defended countless related cases in federal courts. If you are accused of wire or mail fraud, contact our white collar defense lawyers for a confidential consultation.