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Mail / Wire Fraud

Wire and mail fraud charges are some of the most commonly prosecuted federal crimes because these charges are frequently filed in addition to other criminal charges. Many accusations involving some other form of white-collar fraud will have mail fraud or wire fraud charges tacked on to increase the length of any potential prison sentence.

The way that the federal statutes are written can allow for rather broad application by prosecutors, but alleged offenders need to take any such charges very seriously. Convictions have the potential to result in prison sentences of several decades as well as fines of several hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Manhattan Mail Fraud Lawyer

If you are under investigation for or have been charged with wire or mail fraud, you should not delay in seeking skilled legal representation. Greco Neyland, PC represents clients all over Manhattan and New York City against federal charges.

New York City wire fraud attorneys Jeff Greco and Dustan Neyland are both licensed to practice in U.S. District Courts in the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. Our firm can review your case when you call (212) 951-1300 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.


New York City Mail and Wire Fraud Information Center


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Federal Wire and Mail Fraud Crimes in Manhattan

Mail and wire fraud are largely similar criminal offenses, with the primary difference being the method of communication that was used to defraud alleged victims. It is enormously important to understand that each individual wire or mail communication in an alleged fraud scheme is treated as a separate offense.

Mail Fraud

Under Title 18 U.S. Code § 1341, mail fraud involves an alleged offender using a United States Postal Service post office or other authorized depository for mail matter (such as private commercial interstate mail carriers like UPS or FedEx) as part of a “scheme or artifice” to defraud another party. Prosecutors in these cases must prove that the alleged offender:

  • Had a scheme or artifice to defraud another party involving deception or a material misrepresentation of the truth;
  • Had an intent to defraud another party of money, property, or honest services (a vague term that can be broadly applied to a wide variety of conduct); and
  • Used a mail service in the scheme or artifice to defraud.

Wire Fraud

Much like the federal statute for mail fraud, wire fraud under Title 18 U.S. Code § 1343 involves an alleged offender having a scheme or artifice to defraud another party involving deception or a material misrepresentation of the truth as well as an intent to defraud another party of money, property, or honest services. The major difference is that a person who is accused of mail fraud allegedly used “wire, radio, or television communication in interstate or foreign commerce” in his or her scheme or artifice to defraud.

This essentially means all forms of electronic communication with interstate capability, including:

  • Email;
  • Fax Machine;
  • Internet Communications;
  • Malware;
  • Phishing;
  • Telephone; and
  • Text Messaging.

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Mail and Wire Fraud Penalties in New York City

Every wire or mail communication is a separate count, meaning that the following possible penalties can be multiplied in cases involving more than a single offense of mail or wire fraud. For each individual charge of wire or mail fraud, an alleged offender faces these consequences:

  • Fine of up to $250,000; and
  • Up to 20 years in federal prison.

The possible punishments can be more dramatic if the alleged violation “occurs in relation to, or involving any benefit authorized, transported, transmitted, transferred, disbursed, or paid in connection with, a presidentially declared major disaster or emergency” or affects a financial institution. In such cases, alleged offenders could face the following possible sentences for each individual charge:

  • Fine of up to $1 million; and
  • Up to 30 years in federal prison.

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Manhattan Wire and Mail Fraud Defenses

It can be extremely overwhelming to be facing charges of mail or wire fraud, but many alleged offenders can use one of several claims to prove their innocence. Some possible defenses in these cases may include, but are not limited to:

  • Alleged victims suffered no harm;
  • Exaggerated statements were “puffery,” a typical part of advertising;
  • Illegal search and seizure, or other issues relating to how evidence was obtained;
  • No intent to defraud; and
  • Wire or mail communication has no connection to alleged scheme or artifice.

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Find the Best Federal Wire Fraud Lawyer in New York City

Have you been charged with or are you under investigation for mail or wire fraud? Make sure that you have experienced legal counsel.

Greco Neyland, PC aggressively clients from Manhattan and New York City in federal courts. Call (212) 951-1300 right now to take advantage of a free consultation that will let our Manhattan mail fraud attorneys review your case and help you understand all of your options.

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Jeff Greco
Jeffery Greco
Experience as a former prosecutor gives Jeffery Greco an edge in building the strongest possible defense strategy for the accused in New York City.
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Dustan Neyland
Dustan Neyland
A thorough investigation is key to finding every reasonable doubt and getting charges reduced or dismissed for NYC defense attorney Dustan Neyland.
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