The individual charged with assisting the Archdiocese in Washington with the operation of 95 Catholic Schools was arrested in September on three counts of mail fraud.
The charges allege that the individual used fake businesses and fraudulent invoices to embezzle at least $45,000 from the Archdiocese. The Archdiocese believes that the individual took more than $45,000, but the statute of limitations prevented prosecutors from including additional amounts.
“The penalties for mail fraud are severe — up to 30 years in prison depending on the specific characteristics of the charges,” said Glenn Ivey, a Washington, D.C. White Collar Crime Attorney with the law firm of Price Benowitz, LLP. “By using the United States Postal Service to conduct his operation, the individual charged here has exposed himself to federal criminal charges,” he said.
Anyone that attempts to obtain money or property through fraud, deception, or misrepresentation and uses the US Postal Service to carry out the attempt can be charged with mail fraud.
Although the maximum penalty for mail fraud is 30 years, it only applies to situations where the defrauded company is a financial institution. For all other situations, including the individual in this case, the maximum penalty is 20 years and/or a monetary fine.
If you have been charged with a white collar crime like mail fraud, it is incredibly important that you retain the services of an experienced Washington, D.C. white collar crime attorney. Your attorney will be able to communicate on your behalf with the prosecutors assigned to the case, and can work to try and have the charges dismissed.
If dismissal is not an option, your attorney will be able to advocate for a reduced sentence or plea bargain. Additionally, your attorney will be able to advise you regarding the possible fines and jail time associated with the amounts alleged to have been embezzled.
Do not attempt to navigate these charges or the court system on your own. The laws related to crimes such as mail fraud are complex, and care must be taken to ensure that your rights are protected at each stage. An experienced white collar crime attorney will be able to identify any potential pitfalls early on, and guide you through the process.