Fraud is intentionally lying in order to induce someone into relying on the lie to part with something of value. There are numerous types of fraud charges, including:
The federal government has three general antifraud statutes for mail fraud, bank fraud and wire fraud.
- Business fraud
- Money laundering
- Bank fraud
- Mail fraud
- Wire fraud
- Insurance fraud
- Credit card fraud
- Securities fraud
- Mortgage fraud
Mail fraud is a broad crime with two elements: 1) a scheme, devised and intended to obtain property or money by fraudulent means, and 2) using the mail in furtherance of that fraudulent scheme. The "scheme to defraud" element of mail fraud is deliberately broad. It encompasses a wide variety of criminal activity, including credit card fraud, securities fraud, medical drug fraud and fraud based on political malfeasance. Because the mail fraud statute uses such broad language and because it is relatively easy to prove, mail fraud is one of the most common charges brought by federal prosecutors. Charges of mail fraud frequently are made even in cases in which more specific crimes have been charged.
The federal wire fraud statute is similar to the mail fraud statute, but requires an interstate or foreign transmittal of a communication by wire, radio or television. This interstate requirement sets wire fraud apart from mail fraud. An intrastate mailing is sufficient to trigger liability for mail fraud, while an intrastate wire, radio or television communication is insufficient for wire fraud liability.
The federal bank fraud statute criminalizes the conduct of any party who "knowingly executes, or attempts to execute, a scheme or artifice to defraud a financial institution, by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations or promises." The federal bank fraud statute is newer than the mail fraud and wire fraud statutes, so it has not received a great deal of interpretation in the courts. Because its language is so similar to that used in the mail and wire fraud statutes, however, it is expected to be broadly applied and interpreted.
Lying to the government, whether to obtain services such as Medicare and Medicaid or to win a government services contract with a deceptive bid, constitutes fraud. Our law firm defends individuals and companies charged with all types of government fraud. Unpaid taxes may be seen as a type of government fraud as well.
If you have been charged with any type of fraud, contact an experienced defense lawyer. At the Law Offices of Schiller, Kessler & Gomez, our criminal defense attorneys have many years of experience in defending a wide variety of clients against fraud charges.