When most people think of fraud, they think of credit card scams or online phishing schemes. However, there is another type of fraud committed in New York and across the country: mail fraud. Keep reading to know more about what constitutes this crime.
What is mail fraud?
Mail fraud is a type of white-collar crime that involves using the United States Postal Service to defraud someone. It can be prosecuted at the federal or state level depending on the specific circumstances of the case. Elements of mail fraud include:
• Use of the postal service to transmit a fraudulent scheme: This can include sending false invoices, offers, or requests for money.
• Misrepresentation: Fraudulent schemes often involve promises of great wealth or rewards that never materialize.
• Intent to defraud: The perpetrator must intend to deceive the victim in order to commit mail fraud.
• Reliance by the victim: For mail fraud to be successful, the victim must rely on the representations made by the perpetrator.
• Damages as a result of the scheme: For instance, victims can lose all of their savings in the process.
What are the penalties for mail fraud?
The penalties for mail fraud vary depending on the specific circumstances of each case but can range from a few months in jail to decades behind bars. In addition, the court may order those convicted of mail fraud to pay fines and restitution.
It is important to note that state and federal prosecutors often take these cases very seriously. People who have been charged with mail fraud need to mount a defense if they want to avoid the harshest penalties following a conviction.