In order for the prosecution to secure a conviction for the federal crime of mail fraud, they must be able to prove four elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The defendant knowingly devised or participated in a scheme to defraud, or for obtaining money or property by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations or promises;
- The false or fraudulent pretenses, representations or promises related to a material fact;
- The defendant acted willfully with an intent to defraud; and
- The defendant used the United States Postal Service by mailing or by causing to be mailed or the defendant used a private or commercial interstate carrier by depositing or causing to be deposited with such carrier some matter or thing for the purpose of executing the scheme to defraud. Schmuck v. United States.
A conviction for mail fraud can carry severe and devastating penalties including jail time, heavy fines and a permanent criminal record. Punishment for a conviction under the mail fraud statute will result in a fine, imprisonment for not more than five years, or both. If, however, the violation affects a financial institution, the punishment is more severe: the statute provides that the person shall be fined not more than $1,000,000 or imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both.
Mail Fraud Defense Designed for Your Case
Mail fraud is a serious offense that may result in both state and federal charges. If you have been investigated or charged with a theft crime such as mail fraud, you need an aggressive and experienced Massachusetts mail fraud defense lawyer to fight the charges against you. At the Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy, our Massachusetts mail fraud defense firm investigates the federal issues of each mail fraud case thoroughly and strives to construct the most persuasive defense strategy. Ensure your rights are protected and your freedom is secure; contact the Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy 24/7 by calling 617-367-0450 or emailing us directly using our online contact form.