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Is mail fraud a federal crime?

On Behalf of | Feb 22, 2019 | Felonies |

In West Virginia, mail-related crimes are treated seriously regardless of what carrier was used by the perpetrator or what fraudulent act was committed. But just how are crimes of mail fraud treated in court? What are the potential consequences you could end up facing if you are convicted of a mail fraud charge?

As FindLaw states, mail fraud is a federal crime. Accordingly, it could come with severe penalties if you are convicted. This can include up to 20 years in prison. If the fraud you were involved in affected a financial institution or was related in some way to a presidentially-declared state of emergency, then this time can raise to a potential 30 years. Additionally, you could end up paying up to 1 million dollars in fines.

So what is considered mail fraud? Fraud itself is any act that involves the selling or use of counterfeits, or obtaining assets under false pretenses. Mail fraud occurs when you mail something associated with the fraud itself. This can include communications, receipts, and contracts related to the fraudulent act. It is also important to note that it is a federal crime only if multiple states are involved – in other words, if your mail crossed state lines. Some people mistakenly think that mail fraud charges only apply if you send mail through the United States Postal Service. In reality, it counts for private carriers as well.

Mail fraud is a serious charge with heavy consequences. If you are facing such accusations, you may want to take a look at your options and contact a legal professional for representation.