Elite Lawyers
Lawyers of Distinction
Avvo Rating 10.0
Santa Clara County Bar Association
Association of American Trial Lawyers
Elite Lawyers Business James Cai 2017
Best Litigation Attorneys in San Jose
Expertise - Best Employment Lawyers in Santa Clara

What is the Difference Between Mail Fraud and Wire Fraud in California?

Three criminals conspired and thought they could outsmart major companies in the local area by submitting invoices on a regular basis for shredding services. They went out and bought a shredding truck and followed the routes of a legitimate company servicing businesses, then would send a shredding invoice to the business on the same day. This scheme actually worked for several months until one of the businesses recognized they had paid duplicate invoices for the same service. Is this an example of fraud? If so, what are the penalties for those who commit fraud? How can businesses protect themselves from mail fraud, wire fraud, and illegal activity in Silicon Valley?

Defining Wire Fraud

Wire fraud is a federal crime. It involves interstate communication using a phone, landline or computer to defraud other parties. Wire fraud requires specific intent to convict beyond a reasonable doubt. If a defendant is charged with wire fraud, prosecutors must present evidence to prove that the defendant willfully and deliberately acted to defraud one person or many by engaging in wire fraud. Offering someone stock options in a company that does not exist is fraud. Making fake invoices to get your own company to receive payment is also an example of wire fraud. Wire and investment fraud often occurs in a white collar crime aspect, often in an attempt to defraud investors or business partners. If convicted of wire fraud, a person may be subject to a $250,000 fine and up to 20 years in prison.

What is Mail Fraud ?

Mail fraud and wire fraud are similar crimes with one key distinction. The only difference is the method of communication to defraud another party. Instead of a cell phone or using social media or email, the defendant allegedly used the U.S. mail to send phony invoices to victims. Or maybe the defendant sent fliers to victims encouraging the victims to send money for an emergency or to keep their benefits intact. Healthcare fraud often involves a component of mail fraud or wire fraud. To be convicted of mail fraud, the prosecution must establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant conspired or created a scheme to defraud one or more victims and utilized the U.S. mail in the process. To effectuate their plan, the defendant may create a fake identity or open fake mailing P.O. Box accounts for mail fraud. Just conspiring to engage in mail fraud is enough to be charged with a crime, although actually committing mail or wire fraud enhances penalties.

Contact the Silicon Valley Business Lawyers at SAC Attorneys

You worked hard to build and protect your business. The last thing you need is a potential scammer to wreak havoc on your business’ reputation, prowess and income. Our lawyers at SAC Attorneys know how to recognize the signs of fraud before it gets out of hand. We can help you do a thorough audit of your business and determine a game plan (including filing of criminal charges) if it is apparent that fraud had occurred. We serve clients throughout Silicon Valley. Call today to schedule a comprehensive consultation.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
Mr. Cai Is a Diligent Attorney. My sister and I were defendants in a civil litigation case. We hired James Cai and his law firm, SAC Attorneys LLP. Mr. Cai is a diligent attorney and responded to our questions in a timely fashion. He and his staff were very helpful in keeping us informed of the proceedings of the case and in explaining each step. Mr. Cai is also very conscientious of fees and costs, and avoided unnecessary charges. The results of the Summary Adjudication sided with us. The Court Trial resulted in the “Final Statement of Decision” and “Judgment after Court Trial” overwhelmingly siding with us. Cynthia F.
★★★★★
I Am Truly Impressed. After spending a significant amount of time, money and efforts with my previous counsel at a larger law firm without getting meaningful results, I transferred my employment matter to SAC Attorneys LLP. The attorneys there were able to understand the complex situations of my case and put together an aggressive litigation strategy. We were able to file a compelling complaint within a week and forced the opposing party, which was represented by one of the largest law firms in California, to make a substantial settlement offer shortly thereafter. I am truly impressed by the no nonsense and results oriented approach by SAC Attorneys LLP attorneys. A job well done! X. Gao
★★★★★
They Took Time to Understand Our Technology. I am the founder of a bioinformatics start-up in the Silicon Valley and chose SAC Attorneys LLP as our corporate counsels. Their attorneys have great experience with high tech start-ups and were able to offer a highly competitive service plan while not sacrificing a bit of their quality of services. They took time to understand our technology and provided value added services by introducing investors and job candidates to us. We regard our attorneys at SAC Attorneys LLP not only as our legal advisors but also our venture partners. Dr. Pete S.