What is Mail Fraud?
When people think of “mail fraud,” they often think of high-profile criminals who ran complex schemes designed to steal huge amounts of money from people. In reality, mail fraud charges can come from a wide variety of situations – the key requirements for mail fraud are the use of the mail and “trickery” or deception involving money. Because of this, the federal mail fraud statute – 18 U.S.C. § 1341 – is one of the most far-reaching and frequently charged federal crimes. Mail fraud charges can even be based on allegations of interfering with a person or company’s “intangible property rights” – meaning the accused caused the person or company to spend their money in a way they didn’t want to.
Mail Fraud Charges & Penalties
WMail fraud is almost always non-violent, but people charged with crimes under the mail fraud statute face harsh punishment of up to 20 years in prison per count along with massive fines and restitution orders. These can lead to penalties that are off the charts. For example Bernie Madoff pled guilty to a variety of white collar charges (including mail fraud) and was sentenced to 150 years in prison – effectively a life sentence. He was also ordered to repay billions of dollars. He was one of the worst offenders in recent history, but even ordinary people can face hefty potential sentences if charged.
Whether you want to go to trial or want a quiet settlement, you need a lawyer with the knowledge and experience to help you fight for the best possible outcome in your case. Having a lawyer before you talk to a police officer or federal agent is one of your rights as an American and it is wise to talk with a lawyer before you try to “go it alone” against powerful and experienced opposing forces. Lawyers at Gaskins Bennett & Birrell have handled many complex mail fraud cases involving unique legal and factual issues. Effective lawyers have to have a savvy understanding of these issues and a determination to wade through the facts and tell your side of the story.
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Have you been charged with mail fraud?
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A highly respected, trial-focused law firm, our members include three attorneys elected to membership in the American College of Trial Lawyers, and numerous attorneys designated “Super Lawyers” or “Rising Stars” by Minnesota Law & Politics magazine. We have decades of trial and appellate experience, and the good judgment such experience brings.
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