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What is mail fraud, and how is it committed?

On Behalf of | Jan 16, 2023 | Federal Crimes |

Being arrested for mail fraud can upend the life of any Florida resident. As a federal crime, it carries a variety of serious penalties, but you can protect your rights and fight the charge.

Understanding mail fraud

Mail fraud involves the illegal use of the mailing system for personal gain. It refers to the deceptive use of mail to obtain money or property or to perpetrate a scheme against another person.

Despite being a federal offense, mail fraud does not have to cross state lines. It can involve mail from the United States Postal Service, United Parcel Service, FedEx and carriers.

Mail fraud can take many different forms. One of the common ways that it occurs is when a person fraudulently orders items under another person’s name to be sent to themselves or the victim. Sometimes, the crime targets the vulnerable elderly and involves promises of something in exchange for money. Healthcare fraud and sweepstakes fraud are typical examples of this type of mail fraud: they offer seniors an opportunity to save or earn money in exchange for their sensitive personal information or upfront cash.

Sadly, some mail fraud targets job seekers who are often desperate for money. The false promise of jobs ends up targeting people into fraudulent activity instead.

Penalties for mail fraud

Depending on the circumstances of the crime and how much money is defrauded, a person can face fines and up to 20 years in prison if convicted of mail fraud. If the crime is perpetrated against a financial institution, a person can face up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million.

The consequences of mail fraud are harsh; if you face charges, you will want to clear your name.