Federal authorities have charged New Jersey siblings with mail fraud. They have been accused of defrauding a New Jersey medical services firm of $1 million. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the brother and sister face three counts of mail fraud plus a count of conspiring to commit mail fraud.It is alleged that over a four-month period in 2016, the brother and sister formed two shell businesses through which they submitted bogus invoice statements to the medical services firm. The business added these fake companies to its payroll, after which the U.S. Attorney’s Office alleges the brother and sister submitted many invoices for services they ostensibly didn’t provide. After payment of the invoices, the brother and sister deposited the funds into their bank accounts. They used the proceeds for personal gain, paying various personal expenses and buying a 2016 BMW vehicle. The brother was arrested in New Jersey and appeared before a U.S. magistrate. His sister was arrested in North Carolina and also appeared before a U.S. magistrate judge there. The siblings were released on bail and face arraignment in U.S. District Court in Trenton. Mail fraud and other fraud offenses are defined under 18 U.S. Code Chapter 63. They face 20 years behind bars if convicted of the charges. According to the “U.S. Attorney’s Manual,” mail fraud (18 U.S.C. Section 1341) has two essential elements:
- The actor must have “devised” or intended to devise “a scheme to defraud”
- The actor used the U.S. mail for the purposes of either performing or attempting to perform the fraudulent scheme
In this example, the actors allegedly used the mail to send the medical services company fake invoices.Under 18 U.S.C. § 3282, the statute of limitations for a mail fraud/wire fraud prosecution is five years unless the actor's fraudulent scheme affected a financial institution (18 U.S.C. § 3293). In that case, the statute of limitations is 10 years. If you or someone you love is facing a federal criminal charge in Mercer County, contact The Davis Law Firm, LLC to schedule a confidential consultation. The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney/client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.