We’ve been looking at mail and wire fraud charges in our last couple posts, particularly the elements prosecutors must prove to obtain a conviction on these charges.
We’ve already mentioned the foreseeable furtherance and materiality requirements. Another very important requirement, which we’ve already mentioned in connection with the foreseeable furtherance element, is intent. Under mail and wire fraud statutes, the intention of the defendant in sending a communication must have been to deceive the addressee in order to obtain financial gain for oneself or financial loss for another.
In cases where the defendant acted in good faith, without this intent, then he or she has a complete defense to the charge. That being said, a defendant does not have the good faith defense if he or she fails to correct his or her own ignorance, or if the intent to deceive was there but the defendant didn’t expect that the communication would cause any loss to the victim.
These aren’t the only elements of mail and wire fraud, but they are important areas where issues can come up. The most important thing with these charges is that defendants should work with an experienced attorney to evaluate the evidence and build the best defense case possible. Often, prosecutors will not have much of a problem obtaining a conviction on mail and wire fraud charges, but in other cases there just isn’t enough evidence or a defense applies. Whatever the specific circumstances of the case, an experienced advocate can help ensure that a defendant puts the strongest case forward in court.