DC Federal Mail and Wire Fraud Investigations

The following is taken from an interview with a DC federal mail and wire fraud lawyer as they discuss the investigation of mail and wire fraud cases and how they are treated. Call today to schedule a consultation and discuss your case.

How Are Federal Mail and Wire Fraud Cases Investigated?

Mail and wire fraud cases, like almost any kind of fraud, are going to be investigated using significant subpoenas for documents and communications. The government is going to want to get anything and everything that ties an individual with the fraudulent conduct.

In a mail or wire fraud case this is going to involve, for example:

  • Phone records
  • Internet queries
  • Email records
  • Copies of the mail
  • Copies of the actual documents that have been sent
  • Where they were sent from
  • Where they were sent to
  • And bank records

Almost always a fraudulent scheme is going to involve an attempt to get money and so the government will always subpoena the businesses’ and the individual’s bank records so that they can track everything and they are going to use live witnesses if they can get them. In other words, if there are eye witnesses and co-conspirators that they can get to admit to their participation or their knowledge of the events, then they are certainly going to try to do that. It is the federal government in these cases so most often you can expect to have numerous different law enforcement agencies like the Treasury Department, the IRS, the Secret Service, the FBI, and so forth. Numerous agencies may come into play investigating all the different parts of the fraudulent scheme depending upon exactly what that scheme involved.

What Do These Agencies Look For When Determining Whether To Start An Investigation?

Typically at the federal level prosecutors and investigators are looking to see if this is some isolated event that appears to be just one fraudulent act and a one-time thing or does there appear to be some kind of large scheme involved here.

As an example, what we often see after a major national disaster is the federal government will step in to assist those who have been harmed because they simply are wiped out and their insurance isn’t going to cover it and so FEMA and other agencies will step in. There will be a lot of claims made to these disaster relief programs for assistance. Every time that happens, every time there is a hurricane, an earthquake, or a tornado there is a significant monetary damages you can expect and the government does expect that there will be a lot of attempts for fraudulent claims.

So in those situations they know what they are looking for. In other words, they know that is the type of situation where we have got a pervasive scheme by many different people who are trying to get these funds. So that will be an example of the type of scenario where they know that they need to look for and they are also looking for the scope of it.

Another situation is when companies are setup promising to deliver certain kinds of services and then it turns out they are not delivering those services. Typically, the fraud investigation will begin by individual consumers or victims calling in to either the police, law enforcement agencies, or the Attorney General of their state and complaining that they have been defrauded. Then, an investigation will begin and if they see that this is a large scheme and not just a one time act, then the federal government will certainly step in.

What Agencies Are Involved in Investigating Mail or Wire Fraud?

The IRS, the Secret Service, the Treasury Department, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are all typically invoved. There are numerous investigatory agencies. Every kind of federal agency will have its own Office of the Inspector General therein who will conduct investigations if they see fraud going on or see anything that indicates fraudulent activities. So there are numerous agencies and in any particular case one or more of them may be involved.

What Are The Biggest Mistakes To Avoid If Being Investigated For Mail or Wire Fraud?

  • Number one: talking to the police at any length without seeking counsel from an attorney.
  • Number two: engaging in any kind of fraudulent activities or any kind of criminal activities when the government is already investigating you.
  • Number three: talking to other people about what you may have or may have not done in relation to the alleged fraudulent activity because by doing so you are creating witnesses against you.

There are very few people that the government cannot compel to be a witness against you. The number one of those is your attorney. Anything that you tell your attorney in seeking legal counsel is going to be protected by the attorney-client privilege which is why you are absolutely urged to contact an attorney immediately. Too many people wait until after they have talked about the situation with other people or the police, or tried to hide activities, hide evidence, or tried to sway somebody to not tell the truth when they talk to the police. By engaging in this kind of conduct, all they have done is made it much, much worse for themselves.