Mail Fraud Lawyer in California
Los Angeles Mail Fraud Attorney
Are you caught up in a mail fraud scheme? At the Hedding Law Firm, we can help you and fight on your behalf. Mail fraud is a serious offense and our well seasoned and aggressive criminal defense attorneys have the skill and experience to fight for you! A federal crime conviction will carry severe legal penalties.
Mail Fraud has two main elements: (1) intention to perform a fraudulent act, e.g., forged checks; and (2) using the mail to implement the fraudulent scheme.
The charges for federal mail fraud will differ in severity if the entity convicted is an individual or a business.
Possible Mail Fraud Penalties
- Jail time – individuals up to 20 years, corporations up to 30 years
- Large fines and fees – up to $1,000,000 for violations affecting financial institutions
- Jail time of up to 5 years for using a fake name or address in a fraudulent activity
Mail fraud generally is a charge that is added on to the original charge that brought the case before the judge.
Title 18 USC 1341 says that it is a federal offense to use the mail to carry out a scheme to defraud. Specifically, the statute says the following:
“Whoever, having devised or intending to devise any scheme or artificeto defraud, or for obtaining money or property by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises……places in any post office or authorized depository for mail matter…… shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.”
In the case of Schmuck v. US, 489 U.S. 705 (1989), Petitioner used-car distributor was charged with multiple counts of mail fraud. The indictment alleged that he purchased used cars, rolled back their odometers, and sold them to Wisconsin retail dealers at prices artificially inflated by the low-mileage readings, and that the unwitting dealers, relying on the altered readings, resold the cars to customers at inflated prices, consummating the transactions by mailing title-application forms to the State on behalf of the buyers.
Petitioner filed a pretrial motion to dismiss on the ground that the latter mailings were not in furtherance of the fraudulent scheme and, thus, did not satisfy the mailing element of the crime of mail fraud.
The court held the mailings at issue satisfy the mailing element of the crime of mail fraud. Such mailings need not, as petitioner contends, be an essential element of the scheme to defraud, but are sufficient so long as they are incident to an essential part of the scheme.
Mail fraud is a serious offense that the federal government takes very seriously. If you or someone you know is facing mail fraud charges, then our federal criminal defense attorneys can effectively assist you. Contact a Los Angeles mail fraud defense attorney for a free case evaluation.
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