Mail Fraud Attorney in West Palm Beach
Let our Florida federal criminal defense firm mount a strong defense on your behalf
Similar to the crime of wire fraud, mail fraud is a federal offense that is often charged in combination with other white collar crimes to maximize the likelihood that the defendant will be convicted and significantly sentenced. Therefore, those who are arrested and charged with this type of crime should immediately retain an experienced West Palm beach mail fraud lawyer.
Virtually any offense that involves the use of the U.S. postal service may give rise to a mail fraud charge. Examples of related crimes include:
- telemarketing schemes;
- foreign lottery scams;
- counterfeit check fraud;
- identity theft;
- credit and debit card fraud.
A person may be charged with mail fraud even if he or she sent something that did not play a central role in advancing the fraudulent scheme. For example, if a West Palm Beach resident asks a potential victim for his or her banking information over the phone and sends thank you card in the mail when the victim provides the information, that person may still be charged and convicted of this type of fraud.
Does it matter who initiated correspondence?
People who commit white collar crimes may also be charged with mail fraud even in cases in which the fraudster did not initiate contact via post. If a criminal organization approaches a person on the street and provides the person with a business card and information about investing in a well-disguised Ponzi scheme, the people in the criminal organization may be charged if the alleged victim sends information to the organization’s mailing address in response to the conversation about the investment opportunity.
Federal law does not require an actual victim
In some cases, an individual may have unsuccessfully targeted potential victims by attempting to convince them to send money or personal information. If the would-be fraudster made contact with potential victims by sending flyers or information packets through the postal service, the defendant may still be convicted of mail fraud even all of the potential victims completely ignored the contact and avoided the scam as a result. Florida and federal laws do not require proof that the fraudulent scheme actually caused injury and resulted in another person becoming a victim; the defendant’s intent to advance a fraudulent scheme by using the post is enough for conviction.
Employees may also be charged and convicted
One of the most common ways unsuspecting West Palm Beach residents may become involved in mail fraud schemes is by accepting a job at a company that engages in illegal activity. These people may work as telemarketers, administrative clerks, and sales representatives. Employees may find themselves on the radar of federal prosecutors if the government believes the employee may have been aware of the employer’s fraudulent activity and failed to take further action to report the employer and to cease working for the fraudulent company. If an employee becomes aware that his or her employer is involved in illegal activity and the employer gives the worker a stack of envelopes to mail, the employee may be convicted of fraud even if he or she was unaware of the contents of the envelopes and whether the mailings were a part of the fraudulent scheme. Therefore, it is best for employees to immediately contact a West Palm Beach mail fraud defense attorney if signs indicate the presence of fraud or other illegal practices at work.
Each mailing may count as a separate charge
Because the prosecution may file a separate charge for each item mailed, counts can add up very quickly in mail fraud cases. An employee who knows his or her company is involved in illegal activity and is asked to send 500 letters may be charged with 500 counts of fraud in federal court. While it is true that defendants may not necessarily be convicted on every count, he or she will be sentenced separately for each conviction. Therefore, each separate count represents the potential for an increasingly long prison sentence or separate fines, depending on how many charges result in conviction.
When should you contact a lawyer?
Early intervention is always best. Employees who believe they are working for a company that is under investigation should contact an experienced West Palm Beach mail fraud lawyer to discuss legal options. The risk of being charged and potentially convicted of a federal crime is relatively high; therefore, it is essential to have an attorney who will quickly get to work and focus on gathering the evidence he or she needs to obtain the best outcome for the accused. Having a respected Florida defense attorney present during conversations with law enforcement is also highly advisable as attorneys are better equipped to discern potential violations of the defendant’s constitutional rights. Contacting a counsel is a hassle-free process. Simply call the law office, and a courteous staff member will conduct a free, confidential case evaluation. Next, the attorney will provide legal insight into the case and explain potential next steps. Fraud cases often put the accused’s reputation, career, and freedom on the line. Therefore, it makes sense to have the help of a compassionate and dedicated by your side every step of the way.