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.