Many issues of The Champion could be spent discussing all the different forms of conduct that the government calls “schemes to defraud.” This shorter article examines what is not a scheme to defraud.
Federal prosecutors have used fraud statutes, most significantly the mail and wire fraud statutes1 to indict a prominent member of Congress,2 governors,3 students for cheating on an exam,4 individuals alleged to have committed fraud through their operation of a pet cemetery,5 and all too often, attorneys.6 The endless list of individuals charged with a violation of a fraud statute is allowed, in large part, because many of the statutes are predicated on a “scheme or artifice to defraud,” a term often interpreted with enormous breadth.
In the “weaponry”7 available to prosecutors one finds statutes such as mail fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1341), wire fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1343), bank fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1344), bankruptcy fraud (18 U.S.C. § 157), health care fraud (18 U.S.C., § 1347), major fraud (18 U.S.
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