Penalties for Mail and Wire Fraud in Pennsylvania
Mail and wire fraud can be some of the most complex charges an accused person can face, as well as some of the most damaging. One of the biggest dangers in being charged with mail or wire fraud is that such charges allow federal prosecutors to get involved, which can lead to much stiffer penalties and longer jail times.
Mail fraud is defined as a knowing, fraudulent misrepresentation by way of the U.S. Postal Service or another carrier in an attempt to persuade a victim to act in a way that will be detrimental to the victim. Wire fraud involves the same approach, only delivered via wire, cable, television or radio.
Often, mail and wire fraud are prosecuted in conjunction with other alleged crimes. Typically these will be charges related to white-collar crime, such as bank fraud, identity theft, racketeering, tax evasion and securities fraud. In addition to prison time, there are other severe penalties associated with mail and wire fraud. These typically come on top of the forfeiture of any assets gained via the fraudulent activity. If the fraud involved a bank or other financial institution, the penalties will likely be even worse.
To successfully convict a defendant of mail or wire fraud, prosecutors must be able to prove three things. First, they must show that the activity the defendant carried out defrauded victims. Second, they must show that the defendant intended to defraud the victims. Finally, they must also show that the defendant intentionally used the postal service, telephone, television or other service to carry out the fraud. The penalty for mail and wire fraud can be as many as 20 years in prison.
If you are facing charges of mail or wire fraud, you will want an experienced Berks County defense attorney in your corner. Contact the Law Office of David R. Eshelman for reliable representation.