What should you know about mail fraud charges?

On Behalf of | Aug 14, 2020 | Criminal Defense |

In Virginia, the law treats white collar crimes in a harsh way. You may experience everything from time behind bars to enormous fines if convicted. Facing fraud charges is a scary experience because of that, especially if you do not know what to expect.

And what happens after a conviction? You might find yourself up against more than you bargained for.

What is the definition of mail fraud?

Cornell Law School defines mail fraud, which is a way for people to further or carry out fraud crimes. In essence, you use the U.S. mail as a way to defraud someone of money, assets or their access to honest services. But there are actually somewhat strict requirements for mail fraud charges.

First, the prosecutor must prove that you had full intent and awareness of what you were doing. You must have sent the mail with the explicit and specific intent to engage in fraud. Next, this scheme needs to involve “material misstatements or omissions”.

Can you face mail fraud charges?

If the act in question were to succeed, it must have resulted in a specific scenario upon completion. This scenario involves the loss of honest services, property or money. You must have used the U.S. mail to further the act. Finally, you must have been the one to use or cause the U.S. mail to get used.

Note that mail fraud charges apply to any mailing system in the U.S., including both public and private. It also applies to anything you can send. This includes everything from large parcels to postcards. As mail fraud is a federal crime and felony, you may face up to decades in prison and up to 1 million dollars in fines.