What is mail fraud and why is it a serious crime?

On Behalf of | Feb 22, 2019 | Firm News, Fraud

In New York, mail fraud is one of the most common federal charges that the average citizen will face. However, many people may not even be aware that mail-related crimes fall under the federal government’s jurisdiction. However, mail fraud is in fact a very serious deed that can result in you facing harsher penalties than you initially expected.

FindLaw has a page that takes a look at how mail fraud charges can affect a person if they are convicted. First of all, fraud itself is defined as any plan that involves getting assets under “false pretenses”. It also includes the exchange, supply, selling, distribution, or use of counterfeits. If a person mails something related to or involved with a fraudulent scheme, they are therefore committing mail fraud. This can include receipts, communications, or contracts from a fraudulent deal.

Mail fraud doesn’t just apply to the federal carrier, either. It extends to personal or private carriers as well. The letter must have traveled over state borders, however, as the federal jurisdiction only covers issues that involve multiple states. If you are convicted of mail fraud, you could end up facing up to 20 years in prison. Any crime affecting a major financial institute or a situation related to a presidentially-declared emergency can result in 30 years in prison and a fine of up to 1 million dollars.

As evidenced above, these charges are serious and the penalties are no joke. If you are facing charges of mail fraud, consider contacting an experienced attorney for representation in court.