Have you been charged with mail fraud in Phoenix, AZ? This federal offense carries harsh penalties. Not all criminal defense attorneys in Arizona can represent you in federal court. You need a lawyer experienced with federal white-collar criminal defense.
Orent Law Offices has represented clients facing state and federal fraud charges for over 33 years. Contact our law firm for a free consultation with a Phoenix mail fraud lawyer and begin building the robust legal defense you need.
When you are facing a federal charge, your case requires a different approach than a state criminal charge. Federal charges aren’t just more serious; they are brought by the federal government and have far more at stake. An experienced Phoenix criminal defense attorney at Orent Law Offices is prepared to give you the defense you need in federal court.
Orent Law Offices has spent decades representing clients in Phoenix, Arizona, facing federal and state fraud charges. Founding attorney Craig Orent is a Top 100 Trial Lawyer with over three decades of experience. He is a Certified Criminal Law Specialist. He has also defended clients against federal charges with the Public Defender’s Office.
Choose Orent Law Offices to represent you in your federal mail fraud case, and our firm will:
You do not need to face federal criminal charges alone or rely on an overworked public defender. Call Orent Law Offices today for a free case review with a Phoenix mail fraud lawyer prepared to give you the sound legal defense you deserve.
Fraud is a general term that can refer to any number of offenses involving deceit, false statements, dishonesty, or misrepresentation. Fraud is typically considered a white-collar crime as it is committed for financial gain without violence.
Not all forms of fraud are charged under Arizona law. Certain types of fraud raise the offense to the federal level. Mail fraud is one of the most common federal fraud charges.
Mail fraud is defined under 18 U.S. Code § 1341 as a scheme or attempt to defraud or obtain money or property through false promises, pretenses, or representations that involves the mail.
The federal mail fraud statute was first enacted in 1872 to protect the United States Postal Service. However, it was expanded in 1994 to include private and commercial interstate mail carriers like FedEx and UPS. Every year, there are more than 10,000 mail fraud charges tried in federal court. In 2018, the federal government made 441 mail fraud convictions.
Arizona mail fraud cases are federal offenses, even if the mail never leaves the state. In fact, you don’t even need to have mailed anything. The prosecutors can merely show you intended to use the mail in any part of a fraudulent scheme to convict you.
This very broad statute can cover a range of offenses and types of fraud. Any type of fraudulent scheme that involves the mail, no matter how indirectly, can be charged as mail fraud.
This federal statute has two key elements prosecutors must prove:
Federal prosecutors are trained to bring mail fraud charges when they are not sure which federal statute to apply in criminal cases. It has been called the Uzi and Stradivarius for Assistant U.S. Attorneys. It is vague, can apply to nearly any form of fraud, and is very easy for prosecutors to use. It is even referred to as a stopgap statute as prosecutors can use it to prosecute behavior that hasn’t been targeted with specific legislation.
Common examples of schemes that may be considered mail fraud include:
It is important to note that the federal government does not need to prove that any victim suffered a loss, the defendant gained anything, or that the scheme was successful. They can convict without proving anything was deposited for collection or mailed if they have evidence that mailing something was part of the scheme.
You may face a variety of state and federal charges in connection with mail fraud. This federal offense can be charged on its own or as a backup if prosecutors do not have enough evidence for other charges. It can also be charged as an add-on to other criminal charges.
Examples of offenses commonly charged with mail fraud include:
All these crimes can be charged as federal offenses. The Arizona crime most often charged alongside mail fraud is fraudulent schemes and practices under Arizona Revised Statute § 13-2311. This refers to a scheme or intent to defraud knowingly and when receiving a benefit from the fraud.
Other state theft charges may also be charged in connection with wire fraud.
Mail fraud and wire fraud are very similar federal charges. Whether you are charged with mail or wire fraud depends on how the scheme was enacted or planned. Wire fraud refers to fraud that uses the internet or telecommunications under 18 U.S. Code § 1341. This can include emails, text messages, phone calls, faxes, and even messages on social media. Mail fraud, as discussed, involves physical mail.
The penalties for federal offenses are almost always more serious than state offenses. If you are convicted of federal mail fraud, you face up to 20 years in federal prison. The fine can be up to $500,000. If the fraud involved federal disaster relief funds or a financial institution, you face up to 30 years in federal prison and fines of up to $1 million.
In addition to a lengthy prison sentence, conviction for mail fraud generally requires paying restitution to any victims of the scheme. You will also be required to forfeit any money or property you gained as part of the scheme.
These harsh penalties are independent of the penalties you face for additional federal or state charges like fraudulent schemes, embezzlement, or identity theft.
Because the penalties for a federal mail fraud charge are so serious, it’s crucial to contact a Phoenix federal defense attorney as soon as possible to begin building a defense.
When you are facing federal mail fraud charges, it’s vital to consult with an experienced federal fraud attorney as soon as possible. While this statute gives prosecutors a great deal of wiggle room to make a conviction, they must still prove several elements of their case. Orent Law Offices will help you build a robust fraud defense to fight the federal charges you face.
The following are the most common legal defenses available in a mail fraud case:
Orent Law Offices will investigate your case to determine if any evidence against you was obtained illegally through violations of your constitutional rights. We will seek to have illegally obtained evidence suppressed so it cannot be used against you.
Are you being investigated by federal authorities or already charged with mail fraud? Do not delay in seeking counsel from a federal criminal defense lawyer to protect your rights and future. Orent Law Offices will put decades of experience to work on your behalf.
Contact our law office today for a free consultation with a Phoenix mail fraud lawyer ready to help you.