Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Sentencing for Mail & Wire Fraud Conspiracy Argued by Criminal Lawyers

When sentencing for mail fraud and wire fraud conspiracy is argued by criminal lawyers there are complex issues that can be raised in building a good defense. In a recent mail fraud and wire fraud conspiracy case, USA v. Juncal, criminal lawyers brought up an interesting but important issue in intended loss versus actual loss.

The mail fraud and wire fraud conspiracy involved 4 defendants trying to lure a broker into financing an imaginary Siberian oil pipeline. The 4 defendants were attempting to borrow 3 billion dollars from a hedge fund. 

Sentencing by the District Court

All defendants in this federal case were found guilty of mail fraud and wire fraud conspiracy. Each received a sentence of 20 years in federal prison plus 3 years of supervised release.

Mountain of Evidence for the Mail and Wire Fraud Conspiracy

In building their case, the prosecuting attorney and FBI had inside informants, recorded conversations, emails, documents, and the defendants had even admitted to their crimes. The mountain of evidence and admittance of guilt on attempted fraud was enough to make any criminal lawyer cringe. However, when there is absolutely no way of proving innocence, criminal lawyers must show the unique circumstances and characteristics of the case and the defendants to compel the judge to diverge from the federal sentencing guidelines. Criminal lawyers must show how unreasonable a sentence is in light of the true nature of the crime committed or attempted.

The Appeal

The defendants appealed the sentencing and conviction for mail fraud and wire fraud conspiracy. The criminal lawyers argued in the appeal that no reasonable investment professional would have believed such an absurd story and that every bank must engage in due diligence and investigate a potential client when applying for a loan.

The brokers did, in fact, admit to bursting into laughter, when sharing the applicants information with his colleagues. The defendants were trying to pass off as wealthy bankers consisting of a coalition of Buryatian nationals and Yamasee tribesmen using AOL email accounts and obviously doctored copies of T-notes to be used as collateral for 5 billion dollars. A simple Google search by the broker revealed the Yamasee tribal confederation had broken up in the 18th century. Even the terms of the proposal were comical as it promised the lender 14 billion dollars in profit over 5 years.

Criminal lawyers demonstrated well in the appeal that there really was no real victim and the conspiracy to defraud involved no actual loss or even probable loss. The District Court treated the conspiracy as a multi-billion dollar fraud, without taking into account the total circumstances of the case, which led to unfair sentencing for this particular mail and wire fraud conspiracy.

The criminal lawyers were successful in showing the sentences imposed on the appellants were excessively unreasonable. Today, July 23 of year 2013, the judge ruled in favor of resentencing to take into account all the factors of the mail and wire fraud conspiracy case and directed the District Court to not impose sentences greater than necessary. Top criminal lawyers from LibertyBell Law Group applaud the judge in taking action to reduce the sentence for the 4 defendants.

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