It’s a crime to take money from someone by fraudulent means, but if you involve the United States Postal Service in the transaction, charges of fraud escalate to a federal crime. This is mail fraud, and you’ll be tried twice, once at the state level, then again in federal court. To successfully convict you, the prosecution must first establish that you concocted a scheme to take money from others by illegal means. For example, you might have sold a doorbell that takes photographic images of the person standing at your door, then forwards them to your cell phone. If the doorbell does not and never did include any photographic equipment, and you knew that when you sold the merchandise, you misrepresented the doorbell and this is fraud. If you solicited buyers by mail, accepted their payments by mail or delivered the fraudulent merchandise to them through the postal service, this becomes a charge of mail fraud. If your victims were private citizens, you’ll face up to five years in prison and as much as $250,000 in fines. If you sold your doorbells or some version of them to a banking or financial institution, the penalties jump dramatically. You could spend up to 30 years in prison and receive a fine of as much as $1 million.
When you’re charged with a federal offense such as mail fraud, this is no time to think about representing yourself or using a public defender. The downside is simply too great – you may be looking at spending nearly half your life in jail. You need the best, most experienced, most qualified legal representation you can find. The attorneys at Katz & Phillips have handled mail fraud cases and other federal court crimes many times before. We’ll use our experience to fight the charges against you. We’re not intimidated by the federal court system. We’ll tackle it on your behalf to get you the best possible result.