Mail Fraud

Los Angeles Mail Fraud Defense Attorneys

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Have you been accused of mail fraud in Southern California? Mail fraud is a white collar crime as well as a federal crime involving the use of the United States mail system to carry out or attempt a scheme to defraud others, often out of their money and/or property. It is one of the most common federal criminal charges due to its involvement with the United States Postal Service (USPS) and private interstate carriers like FedEx.

If you have been taken into custody by federal agents concerning a mail fraud scheme or believe you are under investigation, you need an attorney right away. Exercise your legal right to a defense attorney and call Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP. Our team of Los Angeles mail fraud defense attorneys have a combined 50 years of legal experience and are some of the most reputed criminal defense lawyers in Southern California. We will stand up for you throughout your case using every resource we have to build a solid defense.

You need a strong defense to back you up. Call the Los Angeles mail fraud defense attorneys at Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP now at (800) 462-7160 to schedule your free consultation.

Common Examples of Mail Fraud

Examples of mail fraud include:

What Constitutes Mail Fraud?

Mail fraud happens when a person mails something associated with a fraud scheme. For example, fraudulent communications, contracts, receipts, and other information regarding a deal all can count as mail fraud. This includes mail sent through both the USPS and private interstate carriers.

Mail fraud includes any scheme involving one or both of the following:

  • Actually or attempting to obtain money or property under false pretenses
  • Actually or attempting to distribute, exchange, sell, supply, or use counterfeits

Because mail can travel between cities and states, the federal government has jurisdiction over many mail fraud crimes. However, if all cases of mail fraud occur in the same state, that state’s laws can potentially govern the case.

What Does the Prosecutor Need to Prove in Mail Fraud Cases?

There are three things that a prosecutor must prove to convict someone of mail fraud:

  • The defendant created a plan to commit fraud
  • The defendant used a mail delivery service to send or placed an item through the service related to the fraud scheme (such as USPS, Fedex, UPS)
  • The defendant fully intended to commit fraud

The prosecutor does not need to prove that anyone suffered any harm or financial loss. All they need to do is prove you attempted a scheme to defraud someone by mail and demonstrated intent behind it.

Penalties for Mail Fraud

Mail fraud as a Federal offense is punishable by a fine and up to 20 years in prison. If the crime involves a major disaster or emergency or affects a financial institution, there are increased penalties—including fines of up to $1 million and up to 30 years in jail. Mail fraud may be the only charge against a defendant, or it may be lumped in with other criminal charges, like tax fraud or bank fraud.

Bernie Madoff, infamous for running the largest Ponzi scheme in history, is currently serving a 150-year jail sentence in prison for 11 federal charges, including mail fraud. He cost his clients a total of $65 billion.

Most cases and sentences are far less severe than Bernie Madoff’s, of course, but the implications hold true—mail fraud is a serious crime that can be harshly punished. To ensure you get the best result possible, you must contact a mail fraud defense attorney as soon as you suspect you are under investigation. The earlier we can start working on your case, the better our chances of getting a leg up on the prosecution.

What Are the Legal Defenses for Mail Fraud?

When creating a defense against mail fraud, our attorneys can review your specific charges to help you create an effective defense.

Some of the common defenses for mail fraud can include:

  • Lack of intent: If the evidence does not show specific intent to defraud anyone, then it will be difficult for the prosecutor to prove your case.
  • Mistake of fact: If you were mistaken about certain important facts in your case, or considered the claims in your letters to be true facts, the prosecutor will not be able to show you attempted to defraud anyone.

Call Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP Now

A fierce and trustworthy mail fraud defense attorney is essential to getting your charges dropped or the minimum sentence applied to your suspected crime. Contact our team for decades of proven and trusted experience on your side.

Contact us now to learn more about how we can help you.

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If you unintentionally sent something fraudulent in the mail, it is not enough to constitute criminal mail fraud. Unless the prosecution can prove beyond doubt that you committed mail fraud, you can be acquitted. An attorney can help you prove that you did not act with malicious or willful intent.

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