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Dealing with fraud charges: consult experienced counsel, P.2

In our last post, we began speaking about mail and wire fraud charges, giving attention to some of the considerations that go into proving these charges in court. It is important for criminal defendants to remember that prosecutors have the burden of providing sufficient evidence to support each and every element of every crime they allege. When they can’t do this, they are unable to secure conviction.

That being said, the difficulty of proving federal mail and wire fraud charges is not usually that great, particularly if there is solid evidence for other fraud charges. Still, a thorough defense will look at each and every charge individually to ensure prosecutors are doing their job correctly. In addition to the elements we mentioned last time, another very important element in mail and wire fraud charges is intent.

Intent is a particularly important element of any fraud crime, because it involves the mental state of the defendant at the alleged offense was committed. For mail and wire fraud charges, prosecutors must be able to demonstrate that the defendant willfully sent the communication in question with the intent to deceive another for the purpose of obtaining financial gain or causing financial loss to the addressee.

One important point to make about the intent element is when the evidence shows that a defendant sent a deceiving communication in good faith—without actually intending to deceive—he or she has a complete defense to a charge of mail or wire fraud. Good faith does not apply, though, if the defendant engaged in intentional ignorance or sent the communication without the expectation that he or she would profit from it.

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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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