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Mail fraud refers to the use of the U.S. Postal Service or other mail carriers to commit a crime. Because of the proliferation of electronic communications, mail fraud has been expanded to include wire fraud—which is the use of wire communications (such as email) to commit crimes.
According to The Wall Street Journal, in 2013 there were 3,923 cases of wire fraud. For one to be convicted of mail or wire fraud, the court must establish that there is intent on the part of the accused to defraud a person or institution as part of a scheme that uses mail and wire communication. Convictions can also be made on the basis of intent alone. When found guilty, a defendant may face as long as 30 years in prison and $1 million in fines.
REPORTS ON EXONERATION
The National Registry of Exoneration, a project of the University of Michigan, lists 18 wrongful convictions of mail fraud in the last 23 years—and this is only of the cases they’ve been able to examine. Of the 18 wrongfully convicted persons, nine were exonerated in the last five years, having already served between three to five years of their sentences. Factors contributing to the wrongful convictions ranged from perjury, misleading forensic evidence, official misconduct and most importantly, lack of adequate legal services.
Last year, two people were exonerated. One of them was forty-year-old Leean Shantelle Thain from Berrien County, Michigan. Thain was accused of embezzling funds from her mother by diverting her mail. The National Registry of Exoneration lists inadequate legal services as a major factor contributing to her wrongful conviction. A court of appeal ruled that both the trial lawyer and defense lawyer erred by not conducting proper investigations into the matter, a factor that would have been avoided had the accused had good legal representation.
Lawyer Referral For Mail Fraud Lawsuits
If you’ve been accused of mail or wire fraud, don’t take chances on your legal representation. Work with Pravati Networks and you’ll be matched to a mail fraud lawyer who has in-depth experience working with other cases just like yours. Our mail fraud lawyers can help you avoid wrongful conviction and overly harsh sentences. With just a small retainer, you can get started with your defense today.