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Brooklyn Mail Fraud Lawyer

Even with emails, the Internet, texting and devices to access this technology, the United States Mail and other mail delivery entities still play a role in commerce. Offers, applications, advertisements and contracts still reach the hands of mail delivery employees. So-called “snail mail” can serve as instruments of fraudulent behavior.

18 U.S.C. §1341 criminalizes the use of mail delivery to perpetrate fraudulent schemes. If you face criminal prosecution for mail fraud, you need a Brooklyn mail fraud lawyer with experience in handling mail fraud and other federal criminal cases.

The Elements of Mail Fraud

As its name suggests, mail fraud involves the use of the United States Mail. However, you can also face mail fraud charges for using private mail carriers such as Federal Express or United Parcel Service (UPS) to conduct the scheme.

At the heart of mail fraud lies the element of defrauding others using a mail carrier. Specifically, this involves creating or intending to create a scheme to defraud, or cheat, others and using the mail for the purpose of defrauding others. The government must prove that the scheme resulted in a loss of money or property or is likely to so result. Since mail fraud includes attempts to defraud, the phrase “no harm, no foul” does not apply if you’re charged with mail fraud.

Mail fraud encompasses a host of acts and schemes. Examples include:

*False advertisements, such as of non-existent products or services
*Work-at-home schemes, in which the victims pay or are required to pay in advance for a non-existent job or a job in which the scammer does not intend to pay for the work
*Fake “sweepstakes,” in which the perpetrator must “pay” for a prize that does not exist
*False solicitations for donations
*False invoices or bills
*Mailing of a contract for signature with no intent to perform
*“Ponzi” or “pyramid” schemes
*Phony government notices that appear “official”


To be guilty of mail fraud, you must have acted with fraudulent intent. As such, you do not face conviction merely because of an unfulfilled promise on your part. One of our mail fraud attorneys can argue that even an intentional breach of a contract does not render you guilty of mail fraud if you originally intended to honor your promise. Your intent is judged at the time of making the promise or contract. Evidence that you later found the transaction or promise too costly, not profitable or not feasible can help negate a claim that you acted with fraudulent intent.

Moreover, our mail fraud lawyers can help a court differentiate between “sales talk” and presentations of fact. In most cases, only the latter subjects you to mail fraud prosecution. Thus, using words such as “satisfaction guaranteed” and similar “puffing” usually doesn’t constitute the type of representations that give rise to a fraud charge. However, lying about an item’s value may subject you to mail fraud.

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The federal mail fraud statute, 18 U.S.C. §1341, imposes severe penalties for mail fraud. You may be fined and get up to 20 years for each instance of mail fraud.

In certain instances, mail fraud carries a maximum prison term of 30 years and a maximum fine of $1,000,000. These enhancements arise if your acts of mail fraud affect a “financial institution.” 18 U.S.C. §20 includes in the definition of financial institutions banks, mortgage companies and credit unions. Often, these acts of mail fraud involve lies on a mortgage or loan application.

Additionally, the higher penalties arise if you committed mail fraud in connection with a presidentially-declared emergency or disaster area. For example, you mail in an application for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and lie about having lived in the disaster area or misrepresent the extent of your losses.

If you find yourself under investigation or indictment for mail fraud, promptly contact one of our Brooklyn mail fraud lawyers. The assistance can help you defend these serious charges or reduce the potential punishments.

Don’t deal with Brooklyn Mail Fraud Lawyer alone. Speak to the Spodek Law Group today.

There are many different types of frauds that one can be prosecuted for. It is important for you to have an understanding of what the law says in all matters. Ignorance of the law cannot be used as a defense in court. In the event that you are indicted for mail fraud, you will need to hire a criminal defense lawyer specialized in handling mail fraud related cases.

What is mail fraud?

In the U.S. mail fraud is defined as any fraudulent scheme that is intended to deprive another of honest services or property via mail communication. Mail fraud has been a federal crime in the U.S. since the year 1872. The term “mail fraud” has also been used to refer to a multitude of financial nature that involve the defendant making false statements or misrepresentations for the purposes of defrauding another.

The mail fraud and wire fraud statutes have assigned the jurisdiction over the hearing of mail and wire fraud related cases to the federal courts. Therefore, anyone arrested for using interstate wire, mail, television or radio communications to defraud another can be charged in a federal court for a felony charge.

What must the prosecution prove for a mail fraud charge to hold in a federal court?

For you to be convicted of mail fraud, the prosecutor must prove that:

i. You purposefully created a plan to defraud an institution or an individual.
ii. You mailed something through USPS or a private carrier with the aim of executing a fraudulent scheme.
iii. You had an intention to commit a fraud.

Possible punishment for mail fraud

i. Fines and Prison Time

• If the fraud was targeted at individuals, the accused person can be sentenced to serve up to five years in prison or/and pay a fine not exceeding $250,000.
• If the mail fraud was targeted at a financial institution, the accused person can be sentenced to serve up to 30 years in prison or/and pay a fine of up to $1,000,000.

ii. Probation

A mail fraud conviction can result in probation term where the federal court orders that the convict spends one to three years abiding by specific terms set by the court in lieu of serving jail time. All of these conditions effectively limit the civil liberties of the probationer for the period of the probation. Examples of these conditions include reporting to a probation officer, submitting to random drug tests or random home searches, not associating with any known criminals and not engaging in other criminal activities. If the probationer fails to abide by the condition, then the federal court might decide to sentence the probationer to serve jail term.

iii. Restitution

In cases where the court finds that the mail fraud scheme succeeded in defrauding someone or caused harm to a victim or victims, the judge may order that restitution payments be made to the victim. Restitution payments are made in addition to any fines that the court order the accused person to pay. For probationers, if any restitution is to be paid to the victims, the court will make this as a condition of the sentence it metes out.

Having seen just how serious the law treats this crime, it is very important for you to know how to defend yourself in the event that you are accused of committing this serious felony.

Speak to an experienced mail fraud lawyer

If you are facing a mail fraud charge, there is need to seek out the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. At NYC criminal Lawyers, we have a team of dedicated mail fraud lawyers who are ready to handle your case and ensure that your rights are protected. Contact us for a free consultation.

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