The honest services fraud statute effectively criminalizes all sorts of conduct at the federal level, and can have an unlucky defendant facing twenty years in prison. Taking a standardized test for another student, directly misleading a private attorney, or bootlegging tapes at movie theaters could all theoretically be prosecuted under the statute. A physician who refers a patient to a clinic in which he holds an interest might run into a failure to disclose issue, as would failing to provide detailed information about expenditures to one’s employers. Prosecutions have ranged from failures to comply with provisions of an employee manual to unauthorized early distributions of popular magazines.
In light of these examples, it should be easy to see how easily mail and wire fraud charges can be applied and piled on one another in a variety of contexts. So what should an unfortunate defendant do when faced with such daunting charges? As you could probably guess, the first step is to ensure that you retain the most competent criminal attorney possible who is knowledgeable about wire and mail fraud charges. As described above, this is an area of trial practice that bestows considerable discretion upon the judge, and as such the arguments that are made and defended against on your behalf are more important than in almost any other context. Luckily, experienced professionals are available and more than willing to assist you in this important time. (link?) In order to enhance your understanding of this area of criminal law and maximize the assistance you can provide to your attorney, contact us to examine the defenses you may have if you are being investigated for either mail or wire fraud.