If you are under investigation or are facing federal charges of wire fraud, mail fraud, or similar crimes, you know you are facing serious allegations and if convicted, the penalties are severe. However, an experienced defense attorney can take on federal prosecutors with an effective strategy. Our federal lawyer in Raleigh is sharing examples of successful defense strategies used in fraud cases.
Understanding Wire Fraud
Federal law states that an individual may be found guilty of wire fraud if a jury finds that they misrepresented themselves, misled, or lied to another person in an attempt to have them send money or valuable information. Also, any communications between two people conspiring to commit fraud would fall under a wire fraud case. However, the act must be committed using an interstate communication device. This includes:
- Computer (including email or social media)
Because of the use of interstate communication, it falls under federal jurisdiction, and every act of wire fraud can be charged as a separate offense. Also, these charges are also in conjunction with other fraudulent offenses, such as identity theft, embezzlement, or money laundering.
Examples of wire fraud include:
- Phishing scams in which financial information or personal data is stolen through a realistic-looking website or email.
- Failing to fulfill the terms of an online sale or auction.
- Using a website or social media post to misrepresent the nature or quality of an item, service, or investment opportunity.
Understanding Mail Fraud
Mail fraud is also a serious, federal crime in which someone commits fraud or has the intent to defraud another person using the federal mail service, UPS, or another delivery service. Like wire fraud, mail fraud is often charged in conjunction with other white-collar crimes.
Because any time an attempt to commit fraud against someone goes through the mail, there are numerous examples, such as:
- Sending falsified tax returns.
- Mailing a fake investment opportunity or work-at-home opportunity to get money.
- Falsified investment portfolio details.
- Sending falsified college applications
4 Defense Strategies for Mail or Wire Fraud Charges
Wire and mail fraud charges both have a very wide scope, and federal attorneys have near-limitless resources with which to prosecute. However, there are several valid defenses that an experienced lawyer can use in your case to try and prevent a conviction.
Under federal law, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt while showing evidence that the defendant committed created, or intended to create a fraudulent scheme. If your lawyer can show that you did not intentionally take part in fraudulent activity, you won’t be convicted in your criminal case.
Good Faith Defense
Good faith is the same as a lack of intent to defraud. This is a strong defense if your lawyer can show that you did not make claims knowing that they were untrue or false. The federal prosecutors must prove that you knew you were making false statements at the time.
Lack of Authority
This defense strategy is used when an employee acts with fraudulent intent on behalf of a business or organization. For example, sending falsified invoices would be mail fraud. However, if the company can show the employee did not have the authority to act on behalf of the company, the executives may not be found guilty.
Lack of Purpose
The prosecution must show that communications (either through wire or mail) were sent “for the purpose” of fraudulent intent. If they can’t prove purpose, you can’t be convicted on wire fraud or mail fraud charges.
Speak to a Criminal Lawyer 24/7
The defense attorneys at Sandman, Finn, & Fitzhugh are here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for a free initial consultation. When you need a defense lawyer to help you fight identity theft or fraud charges from either the state or federal government, we will stand by you as your advocate and ally through the legal process. Call us today at (919) 887-8040 or fill out our contact form to speak with an attorney.