Albany Mail and Wire Fraud Attorneys
Fighting Federal Mail and Wire Fraud Charges Throughout Albany County
Mail and wire fraud are a couple of the most commonly prosecuted white-collar federal offenses. An accusation for either can substantially harm a person's reputation, personal and professional relationships, and community ties. A conviction can lead to a lengthy prison sentence and high fines. Because of the lasting consequences of a mail or wire fraud charge, anyone alleged to have committed either must retain legal representation right away. Crafting a well-thought-out defense strategy requires attending to every detail, thoroughly analyzing the prosecutor's case, and gathering and preserving evidence. None of these steps should be rushed.
At The Kindlon Law Firm, PLLC, our Albany mail and wire fraud lawyers are here to help you through your case. Whether you are currently being investigated or have been criminally charged, our team is prepared to get started right away on building your defense. Backed by over 100 years of combined experience and having handled thousands of complex criminal matters, we know what it takes to counter the opposition's arguments. Committed to tirelessly fighting for the people we serve, we have a track record of success. Although past achievements cannot guarantee future outcomes, what we have achieved for previous clients is a testament to our aim of doing what it takes to seek results.
What Constitutes Mail and Wire Fraud?
Although mail and wire fraud are often discussed together, they are separate offenses covered under different federal statutes: mail fraud – 18 U.S.C. § 1341; wire fraud – 18 U.S.C. § 1343. That said, the scope of mail and wire fraud are similar, and the difference between the two crimes is how they are carried out.
The elements of mail and wire fraud include the following:
- Knowingly devising a scheme to defraud: Typically, a scheme to defraud involves using false pretenses, misrepresentations, or omissions to unlawfully obtain money or property or cause a deprivation of honest services from someone else.
- Intending to defraud others: In carrying out or attempting to carry out the scheme, the defendant willfully sought to deceive another person.
- Using some form of communication to further the scheme: To be charged with mail fraud, the defendant must have used the U.S. Postal Service or an interstate commercial carrier to facilitate their scheme. To be charged with wire fraud, they must have used electronic communication to complete or attempt to complete the offense. Electronic communication can include, but is not limited to, radio, television, phone, email, social media, or text messages.
If you have been accused of mail or wire fraud or both, turn to The Kindlon Law Firm, PLLC. We understand that this can be a stressful and overwhelming experience. That is why we will deliver the sound counsel you need throughout your case. Our Albany mail and wire fraud lawyers will ensure you understand what to expect during the federal judicial process and your legal options. You will not be left in the dark about your case when you retain our services.
What are Examples of Mail and Wire Fraud?
Mail and wire fraud are committed when someone uses the mail or electronic communication to facilitate a scheme to defraud. For example, simply sending someone a text message or mailing a letter to another person involved in the offense can lead to criminal accusations. Thus, various circumstances exist when a person may be alleged to have committed either or both crimes.
Examples of mail and wire fraud include the following:
- Fraud against older adults: These types of schemes can involve mailing a retiree a letter falsely claiming that they are entitled to certain benefits – all they have to do is transfer a small fee to a specific group.
- Sweepstakes fraud: A person might falsely tell someone that they won money in a sweepstakes and must send their personal or financial information to claim their prize.
- Employment fraud: Someone may make a job offer and tell the alleged victim that they need to send personal information, financial data, or a fee to accept the position and get the hiring process started.
- Stranded traveler fraud: These are some of the most common wire fraud offenses. Generally, they involve a person claiming to be stuck overseas without access to their bank accounts. They ask the alleged victim to send them money to get back to the U.S., and once they're back in the states they will return the money with interest.
For the government to obtain a mail or wire fraud conviction, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant intended to defraud and made a material misrepresentation or omission to unlawfully get something of value from the alleged victim. The defense may be able to counter these arguments by demonstrating that the defendant had no fraudulent intent, or they believed that the statements they made were true. Thus, regardless of the alleged conduct, a careful analysis of the facts may reveal avenues that can be pursued to challenge the government's allegations.
Allow our mail and wire fraud attorneys in Albany to evaluate your case and determine what defenses can be raised on your behalf.
What are the Penalties for Mail and Wire Fraud?
Mail and wire fraud are severe federal crimes carrying harsh penalties. A conviction for either can result in up to 20 years of imprisonment and/or a fine. If the offense was committed during a presidentially declared state of emergency, the prison term increases to 30 years, and the defendant could be fined $1 million.
Although you might have been accused of mail or wire fraud, you may not have to suffer the maximum penalties. Depending on your situation, you may be able to pursue a favorable result, such as dropped charges, an acquittal, or lesser sentencing.
Reach out to The Kindlon Law Firm, PLLC to learn how we can help fight your charge and seek an optimal outcome for you.
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