What is the Federal Crime of Mail Fraud?

When being accused of a white collar crime, charges of mail or wire fraud may be included. These are federal charges and often occur when crimes of forgery or other types of fraud have been alleged as well. These charges are very serious and it is important to understand every charge being brought against you.

If you have been charged with the federal crime of mail or wire fraud, you should contact the best criminal defense lawyer in St. Petersburg with The Rickman Law Firm as soon as possible. Federal charges may be confusing but legal counsel will discuss the best defense to help you prevent your record from being permanently marred.

What is Mail and Wire Fraud?

As previously mentioned, mail and wire fraud are federal crimes that are associated with committing various types of fraud, or wrongfully enticing others to give you their money, property, or belongings through mail or wire, and has been a federal crime since 1872. If you use U.S. mail or any interstate delivery service in an attempt to engage in fraud, you run the risk of being prosecuted under the federal mail fraud law.

It is important to note that even if you do not use the United States Postal Service, and instead utilize a private delivery service like UPS or FedEx, you can still be charged with mail or wire fraud. In fact, the law states that this includes items: “…sent or delivered by the Postal Service, or deposits or causes to be deposited any matter or thing whatever to be sent or delivered by any private or commercial interstate carrier, or takes or receives therefrom, any such matter or thing, or knowingly causes to be delivered by mail or such carrier…”

An example of wire or mail fraud can be as simple as using the mail to send a forged or fraudulent check. Another example of mail fraud is sending mail that looks like it is government issued in order to trick someone into sending money. Mail fraud can also occur when get rich quick schemes, or fake insurance ads or charity ads are sent via mail in order to gain donations or money.

If you are convicted of mail fraud, you may also be accused and convicted of racketeering. These are felony charges with serious penalties if convicted. 

What are Penalties for Mail or Wire Fraud?

Mail or wire fraud can incur serious penalties. These felony charges can result in up to 30 years of prison time, restitution payments to victims, and a fine determined by a judge which can be upwards of $250,000 to $500,000, depending on whether you were acting as part of an organization or an individual. Because this is a federal crime, prison time would be served in a federal facility.

Defenses for Mail or Wire Fraud

In order to be convicted of wire or mail fraud, it must be proven that the defendant had a scheme or intent to knowingly commit fraudulent acts. The defense can also be made that the misrepresentations made were not material.

If you are being charged with any federal crimes, including mail or wire fraud, it is important to contact an experienced, aggressive federal criminal defense attorney in St. Petersburg as soon as possible. The experienced attorneys with The Rickman Law Firm will discuss the best legal strategy possible and will explain the process.

For a free consultation with a federal criminal defense attorney in St. Petersburg, please contact The Rickman Law Firm today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.


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