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What Is Mail Fraud?

Mail fraud occurs when someone uses the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) or other interstate delivery companies to send an item to another person or entity with the intent to defraud and/or deprive them of property or finances. The alleged victim does not have to actually suffer a loss for a person to be charged. Unfortunately, many acts fall under this definition, and the federal government zealously pursues these types of cases.

A person could be charged with this offense if they:

  • Came up with a plan to intentionally carry out fraudulent acts
  • Used a mail system to further their scheme

For example, say a person claims to be operating a business in which they send items to customers. Before mailing out a parcel, they purchase insurance on it. One day, they go into the post office and claim that one of the orders they send came back as damaged. They said that the shipment was intact when they sent it out, but when the customer received it, it had scratches or dents, which must have happened in transit.

The business owner fills out an insurance claim for the damaged package, and they get reimbursed for the affected parcel. They could be charged with mail fraud for fraudulently filing claims for packages that weren’t actually damaged.

Various Actions Could Constitute Mail Fraud

Many mail fraud charges can stem from less complicated acts than those mentioned in the above example. Generally, if a person knowingly misrepresents information to obtain something of value from someone else, and sends the fictitious document or item through the post, they can be accused of committing this offense. Using the USPS to send people false credit card applications to request personal information, solicit money for a non-existent charity, notify an individual of an inheritance that they did not actually get, and other undertakings could be considered federal crimes.

Potential Conviction Penalties

Mail fraud is a federal offense, and a person found guilty will serve time in federal prison. A conviction carries up to 20 years of incarceration and thousands of dollars in fines.

Speak with David L. Owen, Jr., P.C. Today!

If you’re being investigated for or have been charged with mail fraud, it’s crucial to discuss your case with a knowledgeable attorney as soon as possible. Our lawyer, David L. Owen, Jr., has over 33 years of legal experience, and he knows how to handle federal criminal cases. When you retain his services, he will work with you personally to understand your situation and develop a strategy to protect your rights. He will fight hard on your behalf, seeking to get charges reduced or dropped.

Schedule your free consultation by calling at (303) 622-3281 or completing an online contact form.