Wire or mail fraud encompasses a broad category of offenses that the federal government frequently uses in prosecuting white collar crimes in which the Internet or the mail is used as part of the alleged criminal activity. United States Code section 1343 defines wire and mail fraud. Essentially, the government has to prove:
- That the defendant voluntarily and intentionally created or participated in a scheme to defraud another out of money or property
- That the defendant did so with the intent to defraud
- That it was reasonably foreseeable that interstate wire communications would be used (i.e., the Internet or wire transactions)
- That interstate wire communications were in fact used
Mail and Wire Fraud also includes the offense of Honest Services Fraud. This is when an individual is charged with depriving their employer or the public of their right to honest services through bribes or kickbacks. Undisclosed self-dealing, conflicts of interest, or secret payments, alone, do not equate to honest services fraud and this is often one of the best defenses to this offense. In the private sector, an employer can accuse an employee of honest services fraud involving kickbacks. In the public sector, accusations of bribery or kickbacks can occur when public contracts are alleged to have been unfairly awarded or the bids rigged.
If you have been charged with wire fraud in the San Francisco area, contact our criminal defense law firm online. You may also contact Jayne Law Group, P.C., by calling us at 415-623-3600.
Mail And Internet Fraud Charges In The Bay Area
Using an ATM or using email to defraud another person out of money can trigger a violation of the wire fraud statute. Tax fraud can be prosecuted as wire fraud, too.
The punishment for a white collar crime conviction such as mail or wire fraud can include imprisonment, a fine or both. What drives sentences in California and in federal wire fraud cases is the amount of loss, which in a mortgage fraud situation can become very high. That is why the attorneys at Jayne Law Group, P.C., work extremely hard at keeping those numbers down. If a financial institution is involved, the fines and potential sentences can jump even higher.