What Is Honest Services Fraud?

Honest services fraud came into existence by means of one sentence in 18 U.S.C. § 1346, which covers mail and wire fraud. The sentence reads, "For the purposes of this chapter, the term scheme or artifice to defraud includes a scheme or artifice to deprive another of the intangible right of honest services."

Federal prosecutors can charge not only public officials with honest services fraud, but also average citizens who stand in a fiduciary capacity. Whether you are a politician, someone who holds a public office or a person holding any fiduciary position, the charge is the same and the punishment can be severe.

The criminal defense lawyers at Randall & Stump, PLLC, have years of experience defending individuals throughout North Carolina who have been charged with white collar crimes, including honest services fraud, in federal court.

Effective, aggressive criminal defense attorneys: Call 704-286-6942 for a free consult.

Understanding Honest Services Fraud In North Carolina

An example of honest services fraud would be a politician taking either a bribe or kickback to use his or her influence to meet the expectation of the person paying the bribe. The federal government, in charging the offense, would say that citizens were deprived of the politician's honest services when the politician acted for his or her own benefit, rather than the citizenry, in taking the bribe.

A violation for honest services fraud is often easier to prove for public officials than for private individuals. While a private individual, standing in a fiduciary capacity, can be charged with the same bribery or other offense, a conviction can be more difficult because courts typically apply a different test to determine whether the conduct was truly honest services fraud or not.

Defending Your Rights

When facing criminal accusations — whether you are under a pre-charge investigation or have already been charged — you need to work with an attorney with the skill and expertise to aggressively defend your case. Randall & Stump, PLLC, is here to provide you with top-notch legal representation.

Contact us online or by telephone at 704-286-6942 or toll free at 800-565-1435 to set up a free initial consultation with one of our skilled honest services fraud defense lawyers.