What is Mail and Wire Fraud?

So-called “high technology” crime involves the use of computer technology to commit white-collar criminal offenses. At the federal level, the broad reach of ”mail” or “wire” fraud has been expanded to include fraud ”by wire, radio, or television.”

Often perceived as catchall federal anti-fraud legislation, in a mail or wire fraud prosecution the government need only establish the existence of three elements to obtain a conviction:

  • that the defendant devised or participated in a scheme to defraud;
  • the scheme involved the use of the mails or wire communications in interstate or foreign commerce; and
  • the mail or wire use was in furtherance of, or for the purpose of, executing the fraudulent scheme.

Material transmitted in satisfaction of the mail or wire use requirement does not have to contain any false representations or material omissions, nor does the connection between the fraudulent scheme and the mail or wire communication need to be close. Accordingly, this requirement has been satisfied by mailing of trade confirmations; telephone conversations; and telexing of material.

A common defense to such charges is that the accused was unaware of or did not understand the content of what was mailed. The prosecution has to show that the accused had the intent to defraud.  The team at John M. Colette & Associates will vigorously fight to see that you receive the best defense possible.