What Are Mail Fraud & Wire Fraud?
Mail fraud and wire fraud are two common white-collar crimes charged by federal prosecutors. Both types of fraud entail a scheme to defraud victims of money or property.
The main difference between mail and wire fraud is how they are perpetrated. Mail fraud is carried out through the postal service or any private or commercial carrier. Wire fraud, on the other hand, involves the use of wire transmissions, such as an email, fax, phone call, text messages, or the use of an internet chat room.
Since the development of the digital age, wire fraud has become increasingly common. It is therefore a charge seen often in cases involving public corruption and financial crimes.
Both mail fraud and wire fraud carry extreme legal consequences. Any attempt to use the Canadian Postal Service for fraudulence is considered mail fraud. Should you ever be charged with mail fraud or wire fraud, you’ll need the best criminal lawyer in Edmonton to defend your rights.
Most importantly, individuals accused of mail or wire fraud should know that it’s not necessary for the government to prove that another party was defrauded. Mail and wire fraud charges can be prosecuted, even if there is no actual loss. Conviction simply requires the defendant to have intentionally deceived another person for the purpose of unlawfully profiting from the other party’s loss. Fraud can therefore encompass:
• Accepting payment for services without the intention of providing them
• Accepting payment for goods while intending not to deliver them
• Delivering goods materially different from those agreed upon
A prosecutor’s duty is to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused party has somehow attempted to further a scheme with the intent to commit fraud, either via mail or wire. Mail and wire fraud charges are often bundled with more serious charges, such as health insurance fraud, bank fraud, or insider trading charges. These all carry serious consequences that could lead to serving time in a penitentiary.
Fraud cases often involve highly complex financial and technical information. Also, because proof of intent to defraud is required in these cases, having a lawyer skilled in mail and wire fraud law is critical. An experienced mail and wire fraud defence lawyer is the only one who can help protect your rights. If you've been charged with either of these offences, please contact us.