Once a defendant has been successfully prosecuted and convicted under the federal wire fraud or mail fraud statutes, he is initially subject to the statutory sentencing provisions. For one count of mail fraud, the maximum sentence is 20 years in a federal prison. A conviction of an individual can also lead to a fine of up to $250,000, while a corporation or other organization can face twice that amount in fines.
In addition to fines, the judge may order a party found guilty to pay restitution to the victims of the fraud. Another common punishment that accompanies a conviction for wire or mail fraud is forfeiture; that is, confiscation of any economic or property interest realized from the crime. These economic punishments of fines and restitution are typically due immediately. However, if the Defendant doesn’t have the financial ability to pay, the government can garnish the Defendant’s pay when they are released from prison. It is also typical for the government to institute collection actions against recently convicted wire fraud defendants to try to collect fines and restitution from any of the Defendant’s assets the government can locate.
As you’ll see from exploring our site, a wire fraud or mail fraud conviction and resulting punishment could easily result from a seemingly innocent non-disclosure. But as the old adage goes, ignorance is no excuse. The sentencing phase of such prosecutions perhaps best demonstrates the need to have experienced and professional representation as reference to the statutory sentencing provisions is only the first step the Court uses in determining an appropriate sentence for one convicted of wire fraud or mail fraud. The Court must next examine the advisory Sentencing Guidelines.