People who are accused of mail fraud often don't realize the seriousness of this charge. Since the United States Postal Service is a federal agency, someone who commits a crime using the mail may face charges at the federal level. Laws have recently been expanded to include private carriers such as Federal Express.
Although postal inspectors investigate most cases of mail fraud, they may also call in the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI). As you can imagine, facing questioning from the FBI is very intimidating for most people. However, all mail fraud suspects have the right to have a criminal defense lawyer present during any questioning by law enforcement officers.
What Constitutes Mail Fraud?
Most cases of mail fraud involve a financial scheme of some sort. One person or group of people defrauds another by collecting money and not delivering the promised product or service. It doesn't matter if the scheme started on the Internet, in person, by telephone, or through the mail as long as it utilized mail service in some way. To be charged with a crime, the person or group accused of mail fraud must have intended to defraud someone else.
Someone convicted of mail fraud could receive a prison sentence of up to 20 years, a fine up to $250,000, or both. If the mail fraud involved a financial institution, a person found guilty of mail fraud could face up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to one million dollars in the worst cases.
It is common for mail fraud to be included with other charges, such as federal racketeering. That is why working with an experienced law firm like H. Benjamin Perez & Associates, P.C. is so important.
Discuss Your Case with Us
If you or a loved one is facing mail fraud charges, or any type of federal charge, you need to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the longer the prosecution has to build a case against you. We invite you to contact us to discuss the details of your case today.