If you use mail, such as mail delivered by the US Postal Service or UPS and FedEx, to commit a scheme that would intentionally take away someone’s money or property, you risk being indicted for the federal crime of mail fraud. If you are charged, you need to retain an experienced defense attorney as soon as you can.
What You Need To Know About Federal Mail Fraud
Federal law makes it illegal to use mail to defraud someone out of money, property or services. For example, if you send letters to hundreds of people with a phony offer to set them up in a work-at-home job if they just send you $1,000, you could be arrested for mail fraud.
Along with using mail, the prosecution must also show that the defendant:
- Created a deception
- Had the intent to defraud their victim(s)
Mail fraud is often bundled in with other charges to add on to a defendant’s sentence. For example, if you are charged with tax fraud or mortgage fraud, a mail fraud will frequently be added in too.
Often prosecutors will use a mail fraud charge when they don’t have enough evidence to charge you with something else.
- You can be charged with mail fraud if you mention a specific scheme even once in a letter or other item you mail.
- Each individually mailed communication is a separate mail fraud count. So if you mailed 20 brochures about a bogus real estate deal you can draw 20 separate counts of mail fraud in your indictment.
If you are convicted, you can be fined and/or sentenced to prison for up to 20 years.
How A Lawyer Will Help
When you are up against a fraud charge, you will be facing inflexible laws and a determined US prosecutor. You will need an attorney who can help you determine all of your options and achieve the best outcome for your circumstances.
United States Code
Read more about federal criminal offenses in the United States Code.
Questions? Contact us today.
If you are charged with a federal crime, the consequences can be devastating. Fienman Defense will fight tenaciously to protect your constitutional rights. We will guide you through a court system that can be complex and intimidating, and provide you with the strongest possible defense.