When it comes to mail fraud, there’s one thing you never want to forget: It’s a federal criminal charge that can result in life-altering consequences.
As the name suggests, this crime is associated with the use of the United States Postal Service (USPS) or any private carrier to commit a crime.
Examples of mail fraud
There is no shortage of crimes that fit within the mail fraud category. Here are two examples:
- A scheme in which you attempt to obtain money or other property under fraudulent pretenses
- A scheme associated with the selling, exchanging, distributing or using counterfeits in any manner
Generally speaking, mail fraud is any scheme that involves the mailing of anything deemed to be fraudulent material. For example, if you mail a fraudulent contract to a business associate or financial institution, it could result in mail fraud charges.
What is the penalty for mail fraud?
If you’re charged with mail fraud, you have one thing on your mind: implementing a defense strategy that helps you prevent a conviction. If successful, you can walk away from your case without any long lasting impact on your life.
However, avoiding a conviction is easier said than done. If convicted, penalties can include:
- Imprisonment for up to 20 years
- Large monetary fine
In the event that the fraud is associated with a financial institution, disaster or emergency, penalties are even more severe. This includes imprisonment for up to 30 years and a fine as large as $1 million.
Over the years, there have been many well-known mail fraud convictions, such as that of Charles Ponzi (of the famous Ponzi scheme). In 1919, he began a mail scheme that allowed him to earn $1 million (or more) per day. However, within a year, he was facing 86 counts of mail fraud. This led to a prison sentence of five years.
Regardless of the circumstances surrounding your mail fraud charges, it’s important that you understand what you’re up against. This allows you to defend yourself in the best way possible. It’s your hope that the right defense strategy will help prevent a conviction and a serious penalty.