Defending individuals and businesses against broad and serious charges
Fraud is a broad crime encompassing many different types of illegal conduct. When fraud schemes use the U.S. mail, however, the federal government often takes notice and aggressively prosecutes offenders to the full extent of the law. The U.S. Code defines mail fraud quite broadly, meaning that companies and individuals in are frequently surprised to find themselves facing this serious federal charge. Nevertheless, mail fraud carries stern penalties well beyond what would typically be available for similar actions under state law. Therefore, if you or your business has been implicated, is under investigation or has been charged in this type of scheme, it is important to consult an experienced mail fraud attorney. Alliant Law Group, LLC can immediately act to preserve your defense and protect your rights.
What is mail fraud and why is it a federal crime?
The vast majority of fraud crimes are prosecuted in state courts under state law. However, certain types of fraud targeting federal programs or using instrumentalities of interstate commerce have been singled out as federal offenses. One major area of federal interest is mail fraud, primarily because it uses the U.S. mail — an enterprise the federal government owns. Therefore, the federal government has a stake in preserving its integrity and preventing the mail from becoming a conduit for frauds and swindles:
- Fraudulent sales
- Fraudulent loan offers
- Counterfeit articles
- Fraudulent contests
- Fraudulent charities
- Debt-collection schemes
When one of these or any other scheme or artifice uses the U.S. mail to further the intent to defraud, the act becomes the federal crime of mail fraud in addition to other state and federal charges that may apply. Mail fraud by itself is a serious crime, and when companion fraud charges are included, the applicable fines and prison terms can be very significant. That is why it is important to begin building a strong mail fraud defense at the first sign that you or your business is under suspicion.
Mail fraud penalties
Typically, a charge of mail fraud carries a potential sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison. If, however, a fraud involves a federally declared disaster area or affects a financial institution, the penalty may increase to up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million. Moreover, an attempt at conspiracy to defraud carries the same potential penalties as the completed act even if the accused never actually acquired any money or property.
Get help if your business has been accused of using the mail for fraudulent purposes
If you or your business has come under federal or state scrutiny for fraudulent conduct, there is a very real possibility of a federal mail fraud charge being levied against you. Despite the breadth and proliferation of these charges, they still carry potentially life-altering and business-destroying consequences. Please contact Managing Partner Daniel Conidi for a free consultation at Dconidi@alliantlaw.us