Fraud is always going to attract the attention of the authorities — but mail and wire fraud are perhaps two of the federal government’s top concerns because of the economic damage they cause every year.
Understanding what constitutes mail or wire fraud may help you to avoid getting into trouble. If you are already facing charges for mail or wire fraud, understanding more about your situation can make it easier to participate in your own defense.
How do mail and wire fraud occur?
Mail fraud involves having the post office or a commercial interstate carrier deliver something to another person that’s aimed at scheming someone out of their money or other assets. These charges are likely to be filed in federal court instead of state courts.
Wire fraud involves trying to defraud someone of their assets or money through the use of electronic communication. This includes fax machines, email, telephones, and the Internet.
It’s possible that mail fraud and wire fraud could tie into other criminal activities. These may include things like identity theft, bank fraud or money laundering. The key point here is that there was some type of deception that was aimed at getting money or other assets from a victim.
What kinds of defenses can be used against these charges?
Defenses to mail and wire fraud are often focused around the defendant’s actual intentions and the nature of the evidence being used against them. Two common defenses include the lack of fraudulent intent and assertions that the evidence was illegally obtained.
Anyone who’s charged with wire or mail fraud should learn about the options they have for their defense. These are serious charges that come with considerable penalties, so you shouldn’t try to ignore the charge with the hope that they’ll go away. Instead, start working on your defense strategy early in the case so you have a chance to evaluate how it might affect you.