Mail Fraud Convictions
Federal Criminal Appeals Attorneys Handling Mail and Wire Fraud Convictions
If you have been convicted of mail or wire fraud under U.S.C. § 1341 or § 1343, it is essential that you consult with an experienced criminal appeals lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your options for appeal. The penalties for a wire or mail fraud offense can be severe and are sometimes improperly imposed. The knowledgeable federal criminal appeals lawyers at our boutique law firm are equipped to handle your appeal every step of the way. Contact a federal criminal appeals lawyer today to discuss your path to a successful appeal from your mail or wire fraud conviction. Call 1-800-APPEALS.
Mail and Wire Fraud Overview?
Under 18 U.S.C. § 1341 and § 1343, mail and wire fraud are federal criminal offenses within the United States that uses mail or wire communication for wrongful financial gain. Many crimes that constitute mail or wire fraud also constitute other federal crimes, such as fraud, bribery, kickbacks, extortion, money laundering, and racketeering. Although this list is not exhaustive, some categories of fraud include bank fraud, health care fraud, and securities fraud. While mail fraud communication involves any mail sent through public interstate postal services (e.g., USPS) or private interstate postal services (e.g., FedEx, UPS, etc.), wire fraud involves communication by means of wire, radio, or television. To qualify as an “interstate” mail or wire communication, the information through mail or wire must derive from a different state than where it is received.
U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and Penalty Enhancements for Mail and Wire Fraud Under 2B1.1
Mail and wire fraud convictions can carry heavy penalties such as significant fines, jail time, and probation. Generally, a defendant can face up to 20 years of prison and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. However, a sentence may increase based on other factors such as a defendant’s criminal history and the seriousness of the mail or wire fraud offense. For instance, under 2B1.1(b)(1), if the loss involved exceeds $5,000, the offense level increases as the loss increment increases. Likewise, as the number of victims rises (in increments), the offense level rises as well. It is not unusual for the sentencing judge to impose such penalty enhancements.
Our federal criminal appeals lawyers have extensive knowledge on sentencing guidelines and can identify whether a sentence was imposed appropriately. If you feel the sentencing judge has imposed unjust penalties from your mail or wire fraud conviction, you may be able to appeal. Call 1-800-APPEALS for a free consultation with an experienced federal criminal appeals lawyer.
Penalty Enhancements: Amount of Financial Loss § 2B1.1(b)(1)
Section 2B1.1(b)(1) of the Federal Guidelines Manual provides the required offense levels for the corresponding financial losses involved in the mail or wire fraud offenses. If a loss exceeds $5,000, the offense level increases by 2; if a loss exceeds $10,000, the offense level increases by 4; if a loss exceeds $30,000, the offense level increases by 6; etc. The increments continue until a loss of more than $400,000, which requires a 30-level increase. s
Penalty Enhancements: Number of Victims § 2B1.1(b)(2)
A mail or wire fraud sentence can also enhance based on the number of victims involved in the offense. When a mail or wire fraud offense involves 10 or more victims, the offense level begins to increase. The sentence imposed increases by 2 levels for an offense involving more than 10 victims, the sentence increases by 4 levels for an offense involving more than 50 victims, and the sentence increases by 6 levels for an offense involving more than 250 victims.
Penalty Enhancements: Defrauding a Financial Institution
A penalty of up to 30 years in prison and $1,000,000 is possible when a defendant is convicted of defrauding a financial institution through mail or wire communication. A financial institution is any establishment that conducts financial transactions such as investments, loans, and deposits. If your mail or wire fraud offense involved the defrauding of a financial institution, the offense level can automatically increase by 4 levels.
Prosecuting Mail and Wire Fraud Offenses
Mail and Wire Fraud Conviction: Scheme to Defraud
The wire and mail communication must further a person’s scheme to defraud another party in order to obtain money or property. A “scheme to defraud” is a plan to engage in defrauding another party. At trial, the prosecution does not have to prove that a scheme to defraud was actually carried out. Rather, the prosecutor only has to show that the defendant had the intention and ability to carry out the scheme to defraud. This makes it easier for the government to convict a person of wire or mail fraud.
Mail and Wire Fraud: Money, Property, or Honest Services
Not only does the language of the mail and wire fraud statutes (18 U.S.C. § 1341, 1343) protect tangible property rights, but it also protects intangible property rights. The language of the statute concerning intangible property rights has a history of ambiguity. However, it has been established that if the intangible property is not of value in the hands of the victim, the intangible property rights are inapplicable.
Mail and Wire Fraud: Aiding and Abetting, Attempt, and Conspiracy
A defendant who attempts to commit mail or wire fraud, conspires to commit mail or wire fraud, or aids or abets in the commission of mail or wire fraud, faces the same penalties as the person who actually committed the offense. To show conspiracy to commit mail or wire fraud, the prosecution must establish that two or more people knowingly agreed to a scheme to defraud, and the defendant willingly joined the scheme with intent to further its fraudulent purposes.
Wire and Mail Fraud: Substantial Fines
Wire and mail fraud are white-collar crimes with potentially severe punishments. If you have been charged with mail or wire fraud, you could face a fine, imprisonment for up to 20 years, or both. If you have been charged with committing wire fraud against a financial institution, you could face a fine for up to $1,000,000, imprisonment for 30 years, or both. Given the severity of these sentences, it is imperative to speak to a federal criminal appeals attorney about your options to appeal.
Federal Criminal Appeals: Appealable Mail and Wire Fraud Issues
Every case varies based on its individual set of facts. Like many appeals, mail and wire fraud cases usually contain several underlying issues. Some appealable issues include: whether there was sufficient evidence that the essential elements of the crime were satisfied, whether a scheme to defraud existed, whether the defendant had the intent to commit the wire fraud, whether there was a sufficient mail communication, or whether the objective of the scheme was to obtain money or property.
It is critical to scrutinize lower court decisions in mail fraud cases for common errors that can interfere with a defendant’s constitutional right to due process. Errors made during pretrial, trial, and sentencing often deprive a defendant of his or her constitutional rights. This can adversely affect the outcome of the case. It is important to know your rights before you lose them.
Filing a federal criminal appeal for mail or wire fraud can be a complex process, but can deliver life-changing results, if handled skillfully. When facing punishment potentially as severe as hefty fines and years of incarceration, it becomes all the more important to consult with a knowledgeable federal criminal appeals attorney who will keep you informed every step of the way. We keep an open forum of communication with my clients and make sure they feel engaged in the progress of their federal criminal appeal.
If you have been convicted of mail or wire fraud and want to appeal your case to federal court, give our office a call at 1-800-APPEALS for a free consultation. We will sit down and discuss the details of your case, and we will guide you with the next suitable steps available for your federal appeal.
Federal Criminal Appeals Lawyers Know Mail and Wire Fraud
If you facing severe penalties such as jail time or steep fines as a result of a mail or wire fraud conviction, turn to an experienced federal criminal appeals attorney today for post-conviction relief. Our federal criminal appeals lawyers have years of experience handling all types of federal criminal appeals, including wire and mail fraud appeals, throughout the United States. Our federal criminal appeals lawyers are admitted to all Circuit Courts across the United States as well as the United States Supreme Court.
Our federal criminal appeals attorneys scrutinize the trial record for legal errors and Constitutional violations, which make up the building blocks for a successful federal criminal appeal. We then craft, perhaps, the most crucial instrument of the federal criminal appeals process: the appellate brief. The following step is to present the argument to a panel of judges in an assertive and persuasive manner so that the judges understand how your rights were violated. Hiring the right lawyer is paramount to winning your federal criminal appeal. The road doesn’t have to end here. We can help you seek relief by appealing your wire and mail fraud conviction.
Call now for a free consultation and speak to a federal criminal appeals attorney today to discuss your options for appealing your mail or wire fraud conviction: 1-800-APPEALS.