When an individual fraudulently devises schemes to defraud someone using the United States mail, he or she can be prosecuted for mail fraud. Mail fraud is charged as a federal crime because the United States mail system falls under the purview of the federal government. Older laws required the use of only the United States Postal Service in order to charge someone with a mail fraud. But under current laws, the use of any mail carrier or shipping service to defraud someone is considered mail fraud. Mail fraud could involve many different types of crimes. Most of them involve fraud for financial gain. If you have been charged with mail fraud, it is critical that you contact an attorney who is experienced and has a successful track record dealing with federal crimes such as mail fraud.
Mail Fraud is a Federal Crime
Under Title 18 USC 1341, it is a federal offense to use the mail service for fraudulent purposes. The law states: "Whoever, having devised or intending to devise any scheme or artifice to defraud, or for obtaining money or property by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations or promises…places in any post office or authorized depository for mail matter" is guilty of mail fraud.
Mail Fraud Penalties
The consequences for mail fraud are severe. An individual found guilty of mail fraud faces up to 20 years in prisons. Mail fraud convictions also result in fines of up to $1 million, especially for violations affecting financial institutions. Mail fraud is generally a charge that is added on to some other fraud charge.
Wire fraud is defined under Title 18 USC 1343 as a scheme to defraud through the radio, Internet or television. The penalties for this offense are similar to mail fraud - up to 20 years in prison and $1 million in fines.
Call a White Collar Crime Defense Lawyer Today
Mail fraud and wire fraud are serious crimes that the federal government prosecutes vigorously. If you or a loved one is facing mail fraud charges, please contact federal crime defense attorney Daniel E. Kann for a free and comprehensive consultation. We have extensive experienced and a successful track record defending individuals against federal charges. Contact us today to find out how we can help.