Mail & Wire Fraud in Maine

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Federal Mail Fraud and Wire Fraud Defense Lawyer

The federal mail fraud statute criminalizes the intentional planning, creation or carrying out of a scheme to defraud another person, business or an entity by use of the U.S. mail system or any interstate delivery system in furtherance of such conduct.  Wire fraud involves the intentional planning, creation or carrying out of a scheme by use of  phone, radio, television or the internet or other interstate form of communication.

Use of U.S. mail or interstate delivery services in an attempt to engage in fraudulent activities is also implicated under federal mail and wire fraud statutes. Federal prosecutors may charge mail or wire fraud involving virtually any type of fraudulent conduct as long as the alleged unlawful activity involves the use of the  mail, other interstate delivery services or communication over interstate wire facilities. In addition, Congress has expanded the definition of mail and wire fraud to include “theft of honest services” which in most cases involves fraudulent conduct by  or involving public servants, politicians and the like.

Mail and wire fraud penalties include

Mail fraud18 USC 1341 and Wire fraud. 18 USC 1343 carry a maximum 20 year sentence.  The actual presumptive sentence called for under the federal sentencing guidelines depends primarily on the amount of loss caused by the mail fraud scheme as well as other federal sentencing guidelines enhancements. In cases where victim of the fraudulent conduct is a financial institution or scheme affecting a presidentially declared disaster area, maximum penalties may increase to up to 30 years. Fines under these statutes are usually up to $250,000 but for cases involving financial institutions they can exceed $1 million per offense.

Of course mail and/or wire fraud convictions may result in probationary sentences under certain circumstances.  A sentence of  probation  will include a number of conditions including random home searches, random drug tests, prohibition of contact certain people, and other restrictive measures. Restitution payments to the victim of the scheme are also mandated upon conviction of mail or wire fraud.

Federal Agencies Involved and Common Misconceptions

Many federal agencies are charged with the responsibility of investigating allegations of wire fraud and mail fraud cases including the FBI, IRS and other investigative entities. Wire fraud may also be utilized to prosecute alleged fraudulent conduct undertaken by a person or entity outside of the United States. For example, if a person sets up a website in Germany to defraud someone living in the United States such activity may be prosecuted under the mail or wire fraud statutes in the United States.  Furthermore, an attempt to defraud others can be prosecuted and even if the scheme is unsuccessful.

Who Should I Contact If Charged With Mail Fraud in Portland, Maine?

Have you been accused of mail fraud or wire fraud in Maine? As a former federal prosecutor Portland Maine criminal defense lawyer Richard Berne is uniquely qualified to help obtain the best possible outcome for your case. Please a call today at 207-871-7770.

Portland, Maine Criminal Defense Attorney Richard S. Berne, Esq. has been practicing criminal defense for nearly 40 years and as a result is well qualified to defend you regardless of the seriousness of the charges.