NYC Mail & Wire Fraud Lawyer
Mail And Wire Fraud Lawyer in New York
With the exception of the federal crime of conspiracy, the wire and mail fraud provisions of the United States Code are by far the broadest federal statutes on the books. Due to their reach, they are also amongst the most commonly charged federal offenses. These two “sister” crimes are used by federal prosecutors to charge almost any substantive fraudulent scheme imaginable so long as communications made to further the unlawful endeavor were made using a phone line, the internet, or the mail. Indeed, one of the most well-respected and thoughtful federal judges around, when he was a federal prosecutor here in New York, described the mail fraud statute this way: ”To Federal prosecutors of white-collar crime, the mail fraud statute is our Stradivarius, our Colt .45, our Louisville Slugger, our Cuisinart – and our true love”; he went on to hail the statute’s “simplicity, adaptability, and comfortable familiarity.”
Most often, charges of wire or mail fraud are brought in conjunction with other financial or white collar crimes that target the goal of the illicit scheme intended, such as securities fraud, mortgage fraud, bank fraud, healthcare or government program fraud, access device theft or tax fraud. Additionally, conspiracy charges based on an alleged agreement to violate the wire and mail fraud statutes can be expected to be leveled as well. As you can see, fraud charges can quickly equate to other charges, and without a dedicated NYC mail and wire fraud lawyer, you may be at more risk than you think.
Difference Between Mail Fraud And Wire Fraud
The only difference between the federal mail and wire fraud statutes concerns the means by which the fraudulent scheme alleged was carried out: if by using phones or the internet, the wire fraud statute will be implicated and can also be considered a cybercrime; if by using the postal service or similar common carrier, the mail fraud statute will be charged.
Regardless of the particulars, all federal investigations of wire or mail fraud are serious matters. Before bringing such charges, you can be sure that almost always, federal agents and prosecutors have invested significant time and resources in developing what they believe is a compelling case. In addition to significant fines, restitution, and forfeiture, federal law authorizes up to decades in prison for those found guilty of wire and mail fraud. And this is in addition to any punishment for the substantive fraud offense underlying the wire or mail fraud charge.
If you are the subject or target of a federal grand jury investigation involving allegations of wire or mail fraud, or if an indictment charging you with wire or mail fraud has already been handed down, you should immediately meet with a federal criminal practitioner with extensive experience in representing those accused of such offenses. That attorney should be able to discuss with you the key aspects of, expected evidence and defenses to any financial crimes prosecution. Together, you should begin preparing to do a battle against the allegations.
NYC mail and wire fraud lawyer Fred Sosinsky has for more than 30 years been representing individuals and businesses under federal grand jury investigation or indictment for mail and wire fraud charges. He has successfully navigated these difficult waters for chief financial officers and executives, healthcare providers, securities and insurance professionals, telemarketers, real estate and mortgage brokers, and others. Where possible, Fred has worked to avoid wire and mail fraud charges from being brought. He has litigated these cases aggressively and resolved very difficult prosecutions favorably. When a viable defense is present, Fred Sosinsky has taken such cases to trial. Call Fred now to discuss your case and intelligently prepare your defense.
What Are Wire and Mail Fraud Charges in New York?
Under the federal wire fraud statute, a person commits this crime when he or she transmits or causes to be transmitted via wire, telephone, cellular phone, over the internet, other online communication, or through radio or television communications. in interstate commerce, any writing, sign, signal, or sound for the purpose of executing any scheme or artifice devised or intended to defraud or for obtaining money or property by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises. Substitute the means of transmission as being through the postal service or similar interstate carrier and the very same elements establish mail federal mail fraud.
Stated more simply, a wire or mail fraud prosecution requires evidence of the following to be demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt: that the accused knowingly participated in a scheme to defraud another person or entity, that such scheme was designed to obtain money or property and that either an electronic communication or the mail was used to further the fraudulent scheme.
As an indication of the expanse of these crimes, the following communications or transactions have all been found to be sufficient to implicate the federal wire and mail fraud statutes: phone calls, text messages, emails, and other communications between charged or uncharged co-conspirators; fraudulent communications used to collect personal identifying or financial data from individuals or companies; spam, telemarketing, and phishing emails, phone calls, and text messages; submission of fraudulent and falsified invoices to insurance carriers or government agencies; and using internet websites and social media to fraudulently misrepresent the nature or quality of products or services. These charges can be intimidating and intense, that’s why it’s recommended to seek counsel from an experienced NYC mail and wire fraud lawyer immediately.
Sentencing for Wire & Mail Fraud
A conviction for wire fraud and mail fraud is punishable by up to twenty years in federal prison. Of course, there are also heavy fines, restitution, and criminal forfeiture that may be imposed. In the event that it is a financial institution that is defrauded, the maximum punishment increases to thirty years in prison.
As with all federal felonies, the sentence to be imposed is based on the court’s consideration of a number of factors found in the federal sentencing guidelines and in the United States Code. In cases of wire and mail fraud, the factor which most drives the recommended guidelines which the court must consider is the financial “loss” sustained — or sometimes intended to be sustained — by the victims of the offense conduct. Other factors which impact the advisory guidelines in fraud cases include the number and vulnerability of the victims, the nature of the property wrongfully obtained, whether the crime was a health care offense, or involved misrepresentations on behalf of charitable entities and the like, whether the fraud created a risk of serious injury or death and a host of other aggravating factors.
There are Defenses to Wire and Mail Fraud Charges
Although the scope of the wire fraud and mail fraud statutes is broad and the scenarios to which the charges may apply are wide-ranging, there are certain defenses that may be asserted successfully to such charges.
First, it is often the case, especially in highly regulated industries such as the healthcare and securities fields, for persons to make errors in processing billing or similar filings and records — unintentional errors. If such inaccuracies are in fact the product of recklessness or negligence rather than deliberate fraud, a defense of lack of intent may well be successful with the help of the right NYC mail and wire fraud lawyer. After all, under these circumstances, no scheme to defraud would be proven to exist, let alone that the accused intentionally formulated that scheme.
Second, sometimes what are claimed to have been fraudulent statements can be demonstrated to have been true. If this is the case, quite obviously, no fraudulent intent will be proven. The same is true for statements that should not reasonably be viewed as false promises or representations but rather as common sales techniques such as puffery.
Third, if the alleged misrepresentation was not one that would reasonably lead the victim to rely upon it, a lack of materiality may be presented.
Fourth, they may be a defense presented if an employee or agent of a company engaged in a fraudulent scheme without the knowledge or involvement of a manager or other person in a superior position.
Finally, not all communications can be proven to have been made for the purpose of executing the purportedly fraudulent scheme. Often, a communication whether by email, text, or phone which the government contends was made in furtherance of the charged scheme can be shown to have been made after a scheme or conspiracy had ended or for a purpose other than to advance the fraudulent scheme.
Speak With The Best NYC Mail And Wire Fraud Lawyer Now
If a federal agent has visited your home, office or left a grand jury subpoena for you in connection with a federal investigation into wire or mail fraud, or if you have been charged in federal district court with a financial crime including wire or mail fraud, call NYC wire and mail fraud lawyer Fred Sosinsky today and allow him to put his extensive experience in defending these cases to work for you.