Mail/Wire Fraud

Fraudulent schemes over postage, wire, radio, or television communication are illegal in the state of California. These crimes can be committed in a variety of ways, but all share the same component of deceit or deception when committing the crime. Both mail and wire fraud are federal crimes that could result in a lengthy prison sentence and expensive fines.

If you or someone you know has been arrested for mail or wire fraud, it’s imperative you seek experienced and skilled legal representation right away. Federal white-collar crimes can be complicated and the agencies investigating them have extensive resources at their fingertips. It’s important you don’t waste any time in building your defense. Failure to do so could cost you thousands of dollars and your freedom.

Mail or Wire Fraud Attorney in Ventura, County, California

If you or someone you know has been arrested for mail or wire fraud, then we highly suggest you secure legal representation with Jay Leiderman Law. Jay Leiderman of Jay Leiderman Law has been defending his clients from federal charges for years. He knows the tactics federal investigators use and how to obtain the evidence needed to refute their accusations. Call Jay Leiderman Law today to learn your legal options for your charges.

Jay Leiderman Law can be reached at (805) 654-0200. Jay Leiderman Law accepts clients throughout the greater Ventura area including Oxnard, Simi Valley, Maria, Montecito, Solvang, Carpinteria, Lompoc, Oak Park, Piru, El Rio, Oak View, Camarillo, Thousand Oaks, and Goleta.

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How Do You Prove Mail Tampering or Mail Fraud?

Mail fraud is also referred to as postal fraud and is prosecuted under the federal jurisdiction. The crime has a misleading name as many believe the fraud is carried out entirely or primarily through the mail. However, that is not true. It’s referred to as mail fraud because of the role the post office or private mail carrier plays in the scheme. Often times the actual “mail” aspect of the fraud is very minor.

The elements for mail fraud can be found under 18 U.S.C. Section 1341. According to the statute, the prosecution must prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt to the jury in order to obtain a conviction. These elements include:

  • The defendant devised or intended to devise a scheme to defraud or to perform specific fraudulent acts; and
  • They used the mail for the purpose of executing or attempting to execute said scheme

Mail fraud can be committed in various ways, but it shared one thing in common. Mail fraud schemes must include the knowing or reckless misrepresentation of material fact in order to deprive someone else (or a corporation/government agency/insurance company/etc.) of something valuable. The misrepresentation must be material. That means the defendant was able to lie and deceive someone of “ordinary prudence” about something that was significant or essential to the issue or matter at hand.

Mail fraud can also occur because of the defendant’s deceitful omission of facts. Failure to say something is untrue or supply important material information is considered deceitful omission of facts. It’s important to know that the prosecution can charge someone of mail fraud even if no actual loss occurred. The elements of mail fraud never state the scheme must be successful, just that someone attempted to execute it.


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What is the Punishment for Mail Fraud?

Mail fraud is a federal crime, which means you’ll face federal penalties upon conviction. These penalties tend to be harsher than state laws and will send you to a federal prison. A conviction for mail fraud is a felony and can result in:

  • Up to 20 years in federal prison; and/or
  • A potential fine

If the fraud involves a federal disaster or a financial institution, then the judge will increase the maximum prison sentence to 30 years instead.


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How Do You Prove Wire Fraud?

Another serious fraudulent federal crime associated with mail fraud is wire fraud. This type of fraud occurs only through the form of wire, radio, or television communication. Lately, federal prosecutors are also charging people with wire fraud if the offense occurred over email.

The offense is incredibly serious and is also referred to as a white-collar crime. Wire fraud is defined under the U.S.C Chapter 18 Section 1343, which states the prosecution must prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt to convict you of wire fraud:

  • You intentionally and voluntarily devised/participated in a scheme to defraud another person or entity out of money
  • You did so with the intent to defraud
  • It was reasonably foreseeable that interstate wire communication would be used to commit the fraud scheme; and
  • You did use interstate wire communications to commit the offense

Similar to wire fraud, the misrepresentation or facts must be material. The scheme must also be calculated enough to fool a person of “ordinary prudence” in order for the prosecution to convict. So, if you lie outrageously and the other person believes it—you might not be charged. The crime can also include deceitful omission of material facts just like mail fraud.

Of course, the key to a conviction is proof you used interstate wire communications to commit fraud. Communication by interstate wire can include television, wire, radio, and in some cases parts of the internet. Some examples of wire fraud include:

  • Sending a telegram solely to advance a fraudulent scheme
  • Calling someone in an effort to progress a fraudulent scheme
  • Sending an email for the sole purpose of committing fraud
  • Initiating or causing another person to wire transfer money to advance a fraudulent scheme

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What is the Penalty for Wire Fraud?

Wire fraud, like mail fraud, is a federal crime and will result in a federal prison sentence if you are convicted. The crime is a felony offense and can result in:

  • Up to 20 years in prison; and/or
  • A potential fine

Similar to mail fraud, if the crime involves a financial disaster or financial institution the maximum will be increased. The judge will be forced to up the prison sentence to 30 years instead of 20 years.


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Additional Resources

Mail Fraud under Federal Law – Visit the official website for the Department of Justice Archives to read up on the laws regarding mail fraud. Access the site to learn the elements of the crime, the penalties, admissible defenses, and other comparable crimes.

Wire Fraud under Federal Law – Visit the official website for the Department of Justice Archives to read up on the laws regarding wire fraud. Access the site to learn the elements of the crime, how the penalties may be enhanced, and other important information.


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Defense Lawyer for Mail or Wire Fraud in Ventura County, CA

Have you been accused of mail or wire fraud? It’s imperative you seek legal counsel as soon as possible. Mail and wire fraud are both federal offenses that carry heavy penalties. You can fight back, thankfully, with the help of an experienced white collar crime lawyer such as Jay Leiderman Law.

Jay Leiderman of Jay Leiderman Law has over two decades of experience he can put to the test for your case. Call Jay Leiderman Law today at (805) 654-0200 to set up your first consultation free of charge in the Ventura County, Santa Barbara County, or Van Nuys area.