Facing Federal Mail or Wire Fraud Charges in New York?

Seeking Immediate Counsel from a Federal Defense Lawyer is Imperative

The earlier you receive expert counsel, the more likely your matter will end favorably. If you’re facing prosecution, contact us immediately.

Federal Mail Fraud Charges in New York

Mail fraud is one of the most commonly charged white collar federal offenses. Mail fraud makes it illegal for an individual to use the U.S. Postal Service, or other mail carrier, during the course of a scheme to take money from another unlawfully.

One of the most severe non-violent federal crimes, a mail fraud conviction can lead to decades in prison. A common misconception about mail fraud is the belief that the lie or fraud itself must involve the mail. In reality, all that must be proven is that the mail was used or caused to be used during the course of the fraud – any innocent or otherwise innocuous mailing can bring the crime within federal jurisdiction.

Hence, while you may believe your conduct is relatively harmless, once you use a mail service to carry out at least part of a criminal fraud scheme, federal agents and prosecutors have the authority to charge you pursuant to the mail fraud statute, codified by 18 U.S.C. § 1341.

Federal Wire Fraud Charges in New York

Wire fraud is another common white collar federal fraud charge and is codified by 18 U.S.C. § 1343. This statute makes it illegal for an individual to use a wire, radio, or television communication for the purposes of carrying out a scheme or to defraud or to obtain money by false or fraudulent pretenses. Like mail fraud, wire fraud can lead to a severe prison sentence if a conviction occurs. Most frequently, wire fraud is charged where an individual uses modern forms of communication, such as text message, email, phone calls, and social media in order to defraud another for monetary gain.

Notably, not all misrepresentations and lies are enforced equally. Rather, the fraudulent conveyance pursuant to this statute must encompass a material misrepresentation. Hence, the misrepresentation must be related to the fraudulent scheme in a specific manner.

Possible Sentencing & Penalties in New York

The United States Sentencing Commission (USSC) publishes a federal sentencing Guidelines Manual in which an advisory sentence range for all federal offenses is listed. Sentencing judges use the guidelines to determine the appropriate sentence for a defendant convicted of a particular offense. While judges are still bound by any mandatory sentences that apply to a given offense, they may depart from the sentencing range by increasing or decreasing the base offense level penalty for a given offense. For each offense, the guidelines note certain factors that can either enhance (increase) or mitigate (decrease) an offender’s ultimate sentence.

For wire fraud violations, §2B1.1 of the guidelines applies. The base offense level for a § 1343 violation is 7, which provides a range of 0 to 21 months in federal prison, depending on the offender’s criminal history. Certain characteristics of the specific offense can also increase the offense level—one of which is the loss amount.

The penalties for mail fraud can be severe and cause great hardship to our clients and their families. The statutory penalties include:

  • Up to 20 years imprisonment for each offense.
  • If the fraud affects a financial institution, commonly known as Bank Fraud, or is connected to a presidentially declared disaster or emergency, the maximum potential sentence increases to 30 years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $1 million.
  • Fines can be imposed up to $250,000 for individuals and $500,000 for organizations.
  • Restitution may be ordered to compensate the victim for their losses.
  • Forfeiture of any property or proceeds obtained as a result of the fraud.

How We Fight Federal Mail or Wire Fraud Charges in New York

Being charged with either mail or wire fraud is extremely serious and requires an experienced federal defense attorney to find creative solutions to successfully against these accusations. 

Above all else, a fruitful defense will aim to show that the method alleged to be used, whether it be by wire or by mail, was not an integral part in carrying out the underlying fraudulent scheme that the government based its indictment on.

As with many other federal crimes, fighting mail and wire fraud cases requires diligent defense work through discovery review, suppression motions, pre-trial hearings, negotiations, trial, and a potential sentencing hearing. Each step is just as important as the next one in fighting back against what will be a thorough case put forth by the government in an effort to gain a conviction.

Your Defense Begins Now

If you are accused of mail or wire fraud, hire a former prosecutor and preeminent criminal defense attorney who has dealt with these offenses on both sides of the courtroom. The steps your defense attorney takes, by way of investigation and creative advocacy, will increase your chances of successfully walking away from these accusations and shaping the rest of your life.

The sooner you put your case in the hands of an experienced criminal defense lawyer, the more opportunity you will have to work toward a favorable outcome. Contact The Law Offices of Jason Goldman for an experienced criminal defense lawyer that can assist you.

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