Because the Illinois statutes codify a mail fraud or wire fraud offense as a Class 3 felony, penalties upon conviction could be severe. For a first offense, a Class 3 felony sentence may include between two and five years of incarceration.
A repeat offense may result in a fine and imprisonment between five and 10 years. A judge may also decide on a combination sentence of jail time, home detention and supervised probation.
When a case involves multiple fraud charges
When prosecutors file multiple fraud charges, a defense may focus on reducing the number of offenses. A judge may then order a sentence based on the outcome of a prosecutor’s reduced charges.
For example, officials filed several fraud charges against a 35-year-old Illinois resident who claimed she had disabilities qualifying her to attend a summer camp, according to the Southern District of Illinois Department of Justice. The organization sponsoring the camp paid for her trip and gave her $2,500.
When the organization discovered she did not have the claimed disabilities, law enforcement charged her with one count of mail fraud and four counts of wire fraud. If convicted of all charges, it could have resulted in a $250,000 fine and 20 years of incarceration.
How a case may result in a lesser sentence
After admitting to her actions, a judge sentenced the Illinois woman to spend 18 months incarcerated, as noted by U.S. News and World Report. She agreed to a fine of $1,250 and to repay the nonprofit organization $7,600. The judge also ordered her to return items she received and to spend three years on probation after her release from prison.
A defendant may have an option to work with the court to reduce the number of charges. A positive outcome may lead to a lesser sentence.