What is the Penalty for Wire or Mail Fraud?
Fraud is a criminal act and form of intentional deception perpetrated for gaining profit or personal gain. There are several different kinds of fraud and so Florida legislature has responded with a new act. The Florida Communications Fraud Act is a consolidation of former fraud statutes that considers it to be a crime to defraud another individual through mail, internet, fax, phone, or any form of communication.
Florida Fraud in Boston
According to the Associated Press, four Florida men have been indicted in Boston in a $3 million scheme in which they used application packages nearly identical to a free federal application to scam struggling homeowners out of hundreds of dollars at a time.
The men arrested were 42-year-old Christopher Godfrey of Delray Beach, 40-year-old Dennis Fischer of Highland Beach, 51-year-old Vernell Burris Jr. of Boynton Beach and 34-year-old Brian Kelly of Boca Raton.
According to the Associated Press, “The indictment alleged their company, Home Owners Protection Economics Inc., (HOPE), virtually guaranteed clients a federally-funded home loan modification and charged thousands of customers a $400 to $900 upfront fee.”
The indictment also alleged that many of the applications were denied. The men face charges including nine counts each of wire and mail fraud.
Florida Communications Fraud Act
According to Florida Statute 817.034, any person who engages in a scheme to defraud and obtains property thereby (property meaning anything of value) is guilty of organized fraud. If the amount of property obtained has an aggregate value of $50,000 or more, the defendant is guilty of a first-degree felony. A first-degree felony can result in up to 30 years in prison and a $10,000 fine plus restitution.
Fraud Criminal Defense
If you have been accused of scheming to defraud or of committing any type of fraud, whether it’s mail fraud, mortgage fraud, or wire fraud, you are still entitled to a fair trial. A criminal defense lawyer will conduct his own investigation into your case and will aggressively fight to protect your rights during your case. A criminal defense lawyer will most likely advise you to pay restitution which usually results in the prosecution backing down so your sentence will be mitigated significantly.