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Dealing with fraud charges: consult experienced counsel, P.1

Fraud charges come in a wide variety and cover a number of different activities, including bribery, mortgage and securities transactions, embezzlement, identity theft, money laundering, and tax evasion. When the government prosecutes for these crimes, it typically pursues as many charges as apply to the underlying activity. In many cases, this results in charges for mail and/or wire fraud.

Like all criminal charges, mail and wire fraud charges involve very specific elements that must be satisfied in order for prosecutors to obtain a conviction. Under federal law, the elements are essentially the same except for the means of communication. The first element is that the defendant must have made the communication “in foreseeable furtherance” of a fraud scheme. In order to satisfy this element, prosecutors are only required to show that the communication was part of the fraud scheme, not necessarily that it was essential.

Another important aspect of the “in furtherance” element is that the communication does not necessarily have to end up benefitting the scheme. It only has to be intended by the defendant to benefit the scheme. In addition, the defendant does not have to have personally sent the communication, but only must have been responsible for the communication.

Another important element in mail and wire fraud charges is materiality, which refers to whether or not the misrepresentation or concealment of the communication had a “natural tendency’ to deceive or otherwise influence the decision of the person two whom it was sent. Determining the natural tendency of a communication is, naturally, not always a straightforward matter, and it is important to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney to ensure one’s rights are protected and that prosecutors do their job correctly.

In our next post, we’ll continue discussing the elements of mail and wire fraud and potential avenues for criminal defense.

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Meet Attorney Guillory

Attorney Joshua S. Guillory was born in Alexandria, Louisiana. Upon graduating high school from Alexandria Senior High, he enrolled in classes at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree. Josh was a member of Mu Kappa Tau, a national honor society for marketing majors, while attending... Read More

Joshua S. Guillory

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