Federal prosecutors often charge individuals with mail and wire fraud when they do not have enough evidence to prove another criminal charge or when the other crime is only punishable under state law. Anyone who uses the United States mail, deposits a check, uses the telephone, emails or sends a fax runs the risk of being prosecuted under the federal mail and wire fraud laws. In addition, anything sent through UPS, Fed Ex and any other interstate carrier is susceptible to a charge of mail fraud.
For more than 30 years, Philadelphia attorney Hope Lefeber has defended individuals and businesses accused of federal mail and wire fraud crimes. As a former Enforcement Attorney for the United States Securities & Exchange Commission, Ms. Lefeber's experience enables her to understand how the federal government operates, and therefore, enables her to best prepare a winning defense. When you face federal allegations of mail or wire fraud a thorough investigation is critical. Ms. Lefeber has at her disposal a team of experts and investigators that ensures the best preparation and strategy to obtain the best results.
Hope Lefeber is extremely well-known and respected among her colleagues and Judges in the federal courts for her aggressive and effective representation of her clients. She has been consistently honored as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer, as one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers by the National Trial Lawyers Association, and as one of the Top 10 Criminal Defense Attorneys in Pennsylvania by the National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys.
Ms. Lefeber is tireless in her pursuit of her client's constitutional rights.
In order to obtain a conviction of mail or wire fraud, prosecutors have to prove a knowing and willful intent to defraud. Accidental or unintentional actions that result in the loss of money or property do not constitute a crime. However, prosecutors aggressively pursue cases involving economic loss and it is very common for innocent people to be accused without any criminal intent to do harm.
It is not necessary for the government to prove that you actually committed the crime or that someone was actually defrauded or lost money. Mail and wire fraud charges can be prosecuted even where there is no actual loss. Conviction for fraud of any kind typically requires proof that a defendant intentionally deceived another person for the purpose of unlawfully profiting from the other party’s loss. Fraud may involve accepting payment for services without any intention of providing them, accepting payment for goods while intending not to deliver them or to deliver goods materially different than as agreed upon. Fraud against the U.S. government may involve submitting false documents in connection with a government contract or tax return, among other things.
In fraud cases, good faith is an important defense to the charges. To convict a person of mail fraud, the government must show that the defendant participated in the scheme with knowledge of the fraud. The government will generally use circumstantial evidence to show a jury that the defendant knew of the fraud. Often the best way to counter such evidence is to introduce evidence of good faith. Good faith shows a jury that a defendant honestly believed that his or her actions were legitimate and lawful. There are a variety of ways to demonstrate good faith. One of the most powerful forms of good faith is to show existing industry standards or conditions. Defense counsel must show that the defendant’s conduct was typical and acceptable given industry practices when the alleged scheme occurred.
If you are facing federal charges, having a lawyer who is highly skilled in business, mail and wire fraud law is critical to your defense. Because fraud cases often involve large amounts of highly complex financial and technical information and because proof of intent to defraud is a required element in a fraud prosecution, pursing precisely the right legal strategy is key to successfully defending fraud charges.
If you are being investigated or have been charged with business or mail fraud, it is critical that you work with an experienced federal criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. To seek representation by an experienced defense attorney, contact the Philadelphia law office of Hope Lefeber by calling 610-668-7927 or completing our online form. Consultations are free and confidential.