Defense Strategies For DC Federal Mail and Wire Fraud Cases

When building a defense for a federal mail and wire fraud case, it is important to always make sure that you have a complete understanding of what the government’s evidence is, what their theory of the case is, and where the prosecution’s case can be attacked and discredit their evidence and build a good defense. Your DC federal mail and wire fraud attorney will also want to make sure that you have investigators out there finding information, evidence, and witnesses to combat what the government believes they can prove.

Your attorney will always look for anything that can be done to challenge the government’s use of evidence by trying to keep such evidence out of court. Basically, looking for anything to weaken the government’s case in general. With every specific case, there will be different techniques and different areas where you are looking for a weakness in the government’s case.

If You Didn’t Mean to Defraud Anyone

If you can show that in fact it wasn’t your intent to defraud anyone, the government will have a very difficult time convicting you. If you weren’t intending to defraud someone, if you are able to stop the government from proving that element, then it is absolutely a defense. The thing about the burden of proof in a criminal case is that the government must prove that the defendant intended to defraud.

It is not the defense’s burden to prove that the defendant did not intend to defraud. Therefore, if the defense can show that the government just simply can’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was intending to defraud, then that can be a successful defense.

Is It a Defense If You Just Did What You Were Told?

Usually it is not. It can be a defense in limited circumstances if you did not know that what you were doing  was fraudulent. Or in other words, if on the face of it and based on the circumstances you didn’t have a reason to know that what you were engaged in was fraudulent, then that can be a defense, but the, “My boss told me to do it so therefore I just did it” defense doesn’t work if you knew or had reason to know that what you were engaged in was fraudulent. You were supposed to remove yourself from that activity and not involve yourself, otherwise you could be liable.

One example in a mail fraud case, is if a professional is engaged in fraudulent activity and puts a false or fraudulent document into an envelope and then has his staff member simply mail it out. That staff member by putting it in the mail can be directly liable for mail fraud if it turns out that there was a fraudulent activity that was going on. However, if the staff member had no reason to know what was inside of it nor that there was anything fraudulent about it whatsoever, the staff member would not be liable. In other words, it could just be a normal course of business during the day to mail out some packages. If that is all the evidence there is, then that staff member should not be liable for that kind of fraud.

On the other hand if the staff member was aware that this is one of the fraudulent packages that would be sent out. Even though he was not necessarily directly getting money in his pocket from this, he knows that he is engaged in some kind of fraudulent activities, “My boss told me to do it so I did it.” That person is likely going to be liable.