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Mail Fraud

Mail Fraud Defense Attorneys in Dallas

Fighting Tirelessly to Protect Your Legal Rights

In the most general sense, mail fraud is the use of the U.S. mail system—including the USPS and private mail carriers—to commit fraud, typically by defrauding others into sending money, property, or other benefits for individual or collective gain. It also involves the exchange of counterfeits through the U.S. mail system. This can include things like pyramid schemes, Ponzi schemes, providing fraudulent college applications, and fraudulent sweepstakes. 

If you are accused of mail fraud, it is crucial that you contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. At the Law Office of Patrick J. McLain, PLLC, our Dallas mail fraud defense lawyers have over 30 years of experience at both the state and federal levels of law. We understand how these charges are prosecuted and know what it takes to defend you.

Call (214) 238-9392 to schedule a confidential case evaluation. Se habla español.

What is Mail Fraud?

Mail fraud refers to any fraudulent scheme carried out using the postal system or any interstate carrier service. It involves intentionally using the mail to execute a scheme to deceive others for financial gain. Common examples of mail fraud include:

  • Phishing Schemes: Sending emails or letters that appear to be from a legitimate source, such as a bank or government agency, requesting sensitive information like passwords or financial details.
  • Lottery Scams: Notifying individuals via mail that they've won a lottery or prize but requiring them to pay a fee or provide personal information to claim it.
  • Charity Scams: Falsely representing a charitable cause or organization to solicit donations through mail.
  • Ponzi Schemes: Using mail to attract investors by promising high returns but paying earlier investors with the funds from newer investors rather than from legitimate profits.
  • False Advertising: Misleading or false advertising campaigns sent via mail to promote products or services.
  • Identity Theft: Sending deceptive mail to steal personal information, such as credit card details or Social Security numbers.
  • Investment Fraud: Promoting fake or worthless investments through mail to trick individuals into investing money.

Mail fraud is illegal and can result in severe penalties, including fines and imprisonment.

What Are the Elements of Mail Fraud?

It's crucial to understand the two elements of mail fraud, as they form the basis for any mail fraud charges: 

  • The Scheme to Defraud: This involves the intent to deceive or cheat another out of money or property through the mail. It requires a material deception that would affect a person's decision-making.
  • Use of Mail: The second element is the use of mail to execute or attempt the fraudulent scheme. This doesn't have to be the U.S. Postal Service; using any interstate mail carrier like FedEx or UPS also counts.

Penalties for Mail Fraud

Like all types of fraud, mail fraud is punished harshly by the federal criminal justice system.

If convicted of mail fraud, you could face the following penalties:

  • Up to 20 years in prison for each count
  • Up to $250,000 in fines for each count
  • One to three years of probation
  • Restitution to victim(s)

Additionally, if convicted of mail fraud involving a financial institution or federal disaster relief, you face enhanced penalties, including:

  • Up to 30 years in prison for each count
  • Up to $1 million in fines for each count

Each instance of mail fraud, or "count," is regarded as a separate offense and is punishable in its own right under U.S. federal law. This means that if an individual has committed multiple instances of mail fraud, each one is considered separately during sentencing. Thus, the cumulative penalties can be severe, potentially leading to substantial fines and lengthy periods of imprisonment. It demonstrates the seriousness with which the justice system treats mail fraud, emphasizing its intent to deter such conduct and hold offenders accountable.

Defenses for Mail Fraud Charges in Texas

Given the severity of the penalties associated with mail fraud, it's essential to mount a strong defense. Fortunately, our experienced criminal defense attorneys can deploy a range of strategies to help you fight your case. 

Below are some common defenses we may consider:

  • Lack of Intent: A crucial aspect of mail fraud is the intent to defraud. If we can establish that you had no intention of committing fraud—perhaps it was an honest mistake or a misunderstanding—this could serve as a robust defense.
  • Insufficient Evidence: The prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that fraud occurred and the U.S. mail system was used as part of the scheme. Challenging the sufficiency of the evidence is often a viable defense strategy.
  • Entrapment: If you were pressured or coerced into participating in a fraudulent scheme by a government agency or representative, we may be able to use entrapment as a defense.
  • Mistaken Identity: In some instances, you may have been mistakenly identified as the individual responsible for the fraudulent scheme.

Each case is unique and requires a tailored defense strategy. Our Dallas mail fraud defense lawyers are equipped and ready to dig into the specifics of your case, develop a defense strategy, and work tirelessly to protect your rights.

What to Do If You're Accused of Mail Fraud

If you find yourself accused of mail fraud, it's crucial to take the situation seriously and handle it carefully. Here are steps you can consider:

  1. Seek Legal Advice: Contact a knowledgeable attorney experienced in federal criminal law immediately. Your attorney will guide you through the legal process, protect your rights, and represent your interests.
  2. Understand the Charges: Understand the specific allegations against you. Your attorney can help you understand the charges, the potential consequences, and the evidence presented by the prosecution.
  3. Avoid Communication: Refrain from discussing the case or providing any information without your attorney present. This includes speaking to investigators, authorities, or anyone related to the case.
  4. Gather Information: Provide your attorney with all relevant information and documents related to the accusations. This will help them build a strong defense strategy.
  5. Cooperate with Your Attorney: Follow the advice and guidance of your attorney. They will help you navigate the legal proceedings and represent your best interests in court.
  6. Prepare for Legal Proceedings: Be prepared for court appearances, hearings, or trials as necessary. Your attorney will prepare you for what to expect and how to conduct yourself during legal proceedings.
  7. Maintain Confidentiality: Keep the details of your case private. Avoid discussing it on social media or with individuals who are not directly involved or approved by your attorney.

Remember, being accused of mail fraud does not automatically mean you are guilty. It's essential to allow the legal process to unfold, and having a skilled attorney can significantly impact the outcome of your case.

Contact Our Highly Experienced Attorneys Today

If you are under investigation for or have been charged with, mail fraud, your future and your freedom could be at stake. An aggressive attorney on your side can provide you with a personalized legal strategy tailored to your circumstances. 

Our attorneys can employ solid defenses to mail fraud on your behalf, including lack of intent, lack of knowledge, and more. We are highly experienced trial attorneys who have handled thousands of criminal cases successfully.

Put our experience and skill on your side; call (214) 238-9392 or contact us online to schedule a confidential case evaluation today.

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  • Former Federal Prosecutor & Military Judge
    Attorney Patrick J. McLain's years of experience across the aisle provide him with a unique perspective.
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