While the need for a white collar crime lawyer in the case of mail fraud was once mostly limited to the mail, today the law has been used to prosecute bank fraud, wire fraud and health care fraud. The crime of mail fraud requires prosecutors to prove 4 essential elements, including a scheme devised to defraud or obtain money by fraudulent purposes, intent, materiality, and using the mails in the implementation of a fraudulent scheme. As the scope of what mail fraud covers has been expanded by lawmakers and the courts, a white collar crime lawyer in Arizona may encounter with it in a variety of legal scenarios. It’s the open interpretation of the law that can offer legal leverage to the defendant.
Prosecutors face 2 possible approaches in bringing about a mail fraud charge on the client of a white collar crime lawyer. One is based on a “money or property approach,” while the second is premised upon a deprivation of “honest services.” The latter approach takes its case from the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988, which provided the phrase, “scheme or artifice to defraud,” including a scheme or artifice to deprive another of the intangible right to honest services.
While actual mailing was a prerequisite for the client of a white collar crime lawyer to be charged with mail fraud, a 1994 amendment to the statute inserted language to include anything that was transported with a commercial carrier, expanding the definition and scope of the law. This new provision was intended for Federal Express and other private package deliver services, allowing for a mail fraud charge even in the absence of the US Postal Service.
Throughout the history of the mail fraud statute, the courts have struggled with a broad interpretation of the statute and a more precise viewpoint. The courts appear receptive to any claims that will place constraints on a charge being categorized as mail fraud. As the statute has significantly strayed from its mail fraud roots, a white collar crime lawyer in Arizona can gain considerable leverage by arguing whether his or her client’s case applies to the statute.
Examining the history of mail fraud, one can see the struggle to define its nature played out in the legislative body and the courts. Courts are pulling in congressional reins, providing prosecutors with what may at first glance appear to be a limitless statute. A white collar crime lawyer would be good to get into the particulars of the statute and how it applies to his or her client’s case. If an argument could be made that the client’s scenario wasn’t meant to apply to the law, the lawyer has more leverage.
If facing mail charge allegations, a white collar crime lawyer will be know the right arguments for your best interest. He or she will be quite familiar with mail fraud law and the recent reinterpretations of the law. He or she will know what a legitimate case of mail fraud is, and when an argument can be made that the prosecutor is stretching the truth. Mail fraud has its own issues and concerns that are best addressed with a lawyer familiar with the field.
About the Author
David Michael Cantor is an AV rated (the highest possible rating) lawyer and a Certified Criminal Law Specialist per the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization. For more information about an Arizona white collar crime lawyer, visit our site.