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Jacksonville Criminal Law Blog

Successful Defenses to Federal Mail and Wire Fraud Cases

The 'Right to Control' Theory in Mail and Wire Fraud Prosecutions

New York Law Journal

The "right to control" theory of mail and wire fraud is one of the most challenging doctrines in white-collar criminal law. In this article, we discuss Judge Loretta A. Preska's recent decision in United States v. Davis, in which Judge Preska analyzed the Second Circuit's "right to control" decisions and concluded that a guilty verdict should be set aside. We also discuss practical steps defense counsel should consider when facing a mail or wire fraud prosecution premised on this doctrine.

The 'Right to Control' Theory in Mail and Wire Fraud Prosecutions (PDF | 235.95 KB

This federal mail and wire fraud case, United States v. Davis, the subject of the attached article, demonstrates the need for federal white collar criminal defense lawyers to analyze and question the basis of the prosecution's theory in mail/wire fraud cases. All too often defense attorneys accept what a prosecutor says is a crime and move on to a plea agreement. The two cooperating co-defendants in the Davis agreed their actions were criminal and plead guilty to a non-existant crime despite the fact that they had to fabricate testimony. Davis' lawyers effectively attacked their credibility and also exposed the prosecution's roaming theory of fraud.

Sometimes in federal white collar cases the Government will bootstrap a non criminal regulation or contract term into a criminal fraud charge based on a misrepresentation that has no significant financial impact on the parties. However, the fact that misrepresentations may exist in a business relationship or contract does not in and of itself form the basis of a crime. In the past the concept that the misrepresentation must be material has been accepted as an element of proof. In a "Right to Control" theory of prosecution another defense emerges that white collar criminal defense lawyers must be aware of in order to effectively represent their clients. 


Is it criminal gambling or is it legal? That's what everyone wants to know about Fantasy Football. Specifically, the daily fantasy sports cash contests that are offered by various nationally advertised companies and played on the internet across the nation by anyone and everyone.

46,000 Federal Inmates Eligible for Sentence Reduction

Last year Amendment 782 passed allowing for a retroactive two level sentencing guidelines reduction for all eligible incarcerated federal drug offenders. Importantly, the inmate must not already be scheduled for release before November 1, 2015 since that is the earliest possible date of release under Amendment 782.

Is that Chinese Honey - No My Dear

This federal white collar case started when a Chinese American in the Asian import business and two Chinese nationals were arrested by Federal authorities for importing hundreds of shipping containers loaded with thousands of barrels of what was alleged to be Chinese origin honey into the United States. Our client, the Chinese American, faced decades in prison if convicted.

Bootlegging Tax Evasion Charges Dismissed

After 18 months of investigation, the State Attorneys Office agreed to dismiss 70 counts of bootlegging and tax evasion charges against the CEO of a liquor distribution company in Jacksonville, Florida. Mitch Stone was hired by C.J. Eiras to defend against the liquor related charges after he was arrested on a warrant and jailed under a 2.25 Million dollar bond. After securing his release Stone went to work analyzing the evidence and researching the law and issues pertaining to the case. Numerous meetings were conducted with the Florida Department of Alcohol Beverage and Tobacco agents and the Assistant State Attorney assigned to prosecute the case. Stone pointed out the physical evidence and factual information supported the defense that no law violation had been committed by Eiras or anyone. In fact, the reason for the suspicion stemmed from over 60 drums of liquor that had been stored for years at the Liquor Group's licensed and bonded warehouse.


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