Irvine Mail Fraud Attorney
Zealous and Dedicated Legal Advocacy Against Your Charges
Attorney Diane C. Bass is a zealous litigator who will do her best to fight for the best results possible in her clients’ cases. She firmly believes in every person’s fundamental rights to a future and will defend them aggressively in trial from start to finish. If you have been accused of mail fraud in Irvine, do not hesitate to reach out to Attorney Bass to get started on your defense immediately; the risks upon conviction can be serious.
What Constitutes Mail Fraud?
Mail fraud is one of the most common federal criminal charges and refers to a scheme involving the mailing of something associated with fraud (money or property obtained under false pretenses or counterfeits). Mailing contracts, receipts, and communications regarding a fraudulent deal could all be elements involved in mail fraud, and communications are not limited to the USPS and may include mail sent through private and commercial interstate carriers.
Note that the use of interstate mails is important in cases of mail fraud because the federal government's jurisdiction is limited to matters that impact multiple states. Crimes that take place entirely within a single state fall under that state's laws, but the Commerce Clause of the Constitution grants the federal government jurisdiction over interstate matters, rendering certain mail fraud cases a federal crime.
To prove a case of mail fraud, the prosecutor must first convince the jury that the defendant had a scheme or plan to defraud someone of money, property, or honest services. Unfortunately, federal mail fraud is sometimes known as “the prosecutor’s best friend,” as it is easy for a prosecutor to prove a case if the offense involved using any method of interstate delivery, and it is not necessary that mailing be an essential part of the scheme. That is, the prosecutor does not need to prove that the defendant actually deposited anything in the mail or with the delivery service; it is enough to prove that mailing or depositing the item at a collection point was an eventual part of the plan.
Consequences and Penalties
Mail fraud is punishable by a fine of up to $250,000 and imprisonment of up to 20 years. If the crime involves benefits connected to a presidentially declared major disaster or emergency, or if it affects a financial institution, the defendant could face enhanced penalties including fines of up to $1 million and imprisonment for up to 30 years.
Depending on the circumstances of the case, mail fraud convictions can also result in probation in lieu of a term of prison time, typically lasting 1-3 years or more. Be aware that probation includes certain terms that require the person to regularly report to a probation monitor, submit to random home searches or random drug tests, not associate with known criminals, and not commit other crimes.
When a mail fraud scheme succeeds in defrauding someone of property or causes harm to them, courts may impose restitution to the alleged victim. The purpose of restitution payments is to help the harmed parties recover what they lost as a result of the fraud. Note that restitution must be paid in addition to fines.
Additionally, in more severe cases. a defendant charged with mail fraud risks not only of a felony conviction for that offense, but also a charge of racketeering as well. If the defendant acted in concert with anyone else, the prosecutor can charge them under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). A RICO conviction carries significantly more punishment in fines and incarceration.
Questions? Contact Attorney Diane C. Bass Today.
Mail fraud is a serious crime at both the state and federal level. If you have been accused of mail fraud in Irvine, California, seek an attorney immediately for professional representation. Especially if you are facing serious accusations that may involve federal charges of racketeering, you will need an experienced lawyer on your side to protect your legal interests. Attorney Diane C. Bass has years of legal experience and will put her extensive knowledge and skills to use as she crafts a compelling and unique defense for you in trial.
To learn more about how Attorney Bass can help your mail fraud case, schedule a free initial consultation with the Law Office of Diane C. Bass, A Professional Law Corporation online or by phone at (949) 264-0696 today.
Over 25 Years of Criminal Defense Legal Experience
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Handled Some of the Largest Cases in the History of the Central District of California
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