Mail and Wire Fraud

The federal mail and wire fraud statutes criminalize so-called “schemes or artifices to defraud.” The courts continually struggle with placing limits on prosecutions under these laws, since they are written so broadly and can encompass what one court has characterized as “commercial sharp practices.” Sadly, almost any commercial dispute can be turned into a mail and wire fraud investigation—even those involving the correct interpretation of contractual agreements. Because Congress has never defined “scheme or artifice to defraud,” an individual can be accused of a crime without any indication that he was doing anything wrong or unlawful. We have defended numerous mail and wire fraud investigations and prosecutions (including representing a sports figure in a national gambling scandal), and focus on establishing the reasonableness of our client’s conduct. This often involves an exhaustive examination of business practices and industry norms. We engage national experts to help us articulate credible defenses in order to persuade prosecutors not to bring charges. However, if they do, we prepare our team to proceed to trial.