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Orlando Criminal Attorney > Tampa Mail Fraud Defense Lawyer

Tampa Mail Fraud Defense Lawyer

Mail fraud charges are a definite favorite of federal prosecutors. The law is very broadly written and could potentially come into play whenever any fraudulent scheme makes use of interstate mail in even a minor way. We see mail fraud charges as part of many federal indictments, sometimes tacked on at the end of a very long list of other fraud charges. Because the potential penalties are so steep, however, we encourage all defendants to reach out to a Tampa mail fraud defense lawyer at O’Mara Law Group as soon as possible.

Elements of Mail Fraud

The mail fraud statute is found at 18 U.S.C. §1341 and lays out all the elements of the crime. To secure a conviction, a prosecutor must prove the following:

  • The defendant formed (or intended to form) a fraudulent scheme to obtain money or property by using false promises, representations, or pretenses.
  • The defendant intended to deprive another person or entity of property, money, or honest services.
  • The defendant used the U.S. Postal Service or other interstate commercial carriers in any way to advance the fraudulent scheme.

Interestingly, use of the mails does not need to be a key or central element of the fraudulent scheme. It simply needs to be used in some way. It’s enough to cause the person targeted by the scheme to drop something in the mail. For this reason, mail fraud charges are popular when prosecutors lack the evidence for other fraud charges.

If convicted, a defendant faces up to 20 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines. If a financial institution is defrauded, the penalties are even steeper.

How We Fight Mail Fraud Charges

Any defense begins by objectively reviewing all evidence. We need to know what evidence the prosecutor has in her possession, as well as hear our client’s side of the story.

Some defendants get caught up in fraudulent schemes unknowingly. Many fraudulent schemes require dozens and dozens of people to pull off, and not all are “in the know.” A defendant might have innocently mailed something for a friend, coworker, or spouse and not known the document was part of a scheme to defraud people.

In other cases, the prosecutor might have the wrong person. It isn’t always obvious who mailed something or instructed that others mail items. Neither fingerprinting nor security cameras can yield definitive proof in all cases, and prosecutors must prove all elements beyond a reasonable doubt.

However, it’s not a good defense to claim the scheme failed or that you never received money. All that is required is an attempt to advance a fraudulent scheme along with use of the mails in some capacity.

Speak with a Tampa Mail Fraud Attorney

If you are under investigation for participation in a fraudulent scheme, please contact O’Mara Law Group today. Our firm has represented countless individuals accused of defrauding others of money, property, or services. The sooner we can start building your defense, the better positioned we are for success. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

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