Regarding federal crimes, prosecutors can use various charges to hold someone accountable for their actions. Today, we will explain how the federal government can employ a charge of mail fraud, which can almost be viewed as a catch-all, to prosecute people they believe to be involved in federal crimes. Remember, you must contact legal counsel if you have been charged with a federal crime. For legal assistance, contact the attorneys of Puglisi Caramés for a free consultation. We will draw upon our extensive experience with federal and state crimes to provide you with the guidance and representation you need. 

Breaking Down Mail Fraud

Mail fraud is a federal offense that involves someone using the United States Postal Service (USPS), or other mail carriers, to perpetuate a fraudulent scheme. The fundamental element of a mail fraud charge rests on someone trying to defraud or deceive someone else through the mail. When people hear the term “mail fraud,” they often assume it is relatively minor, but it isn’t. Mail fraud carries a sentence of up to twenty years in prison, and it has a significant fine. However, if the fraud involves a federally declared disaster, or affects a financial institution, imprisonment is increased to thirty years and carries a fine of up to $1,000,000. The application is extensive and encompasses a series of other charges, which we will discuss in more detail. 

The intent mentioned above, coupled with the fact that the crime was facilitated through mail carriers, allows federal agents to add this charge to different cases.

  • Financial fraud
  • Identity theft
  • Ponzi schemes
  • Pyramid schemes

Many of these crimes can be tied to complicated criminal enterprises spanning multiple jurisdictions. However, they can be relatively simple, too. Consider, for example, an individual who provides false information, or misrepresents their circumstances to obtain government benefits such as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or unemployment benefits. Many cases could involve fabricated medical records, employment information, or financial statements to support their claim. Simply receiving a check in the mail due to these actions could result in mail fraud charges. 

After reading through the previous fictitious example, you can see how mail fraud charges can enhance the severity of a case by bringing it to a federal level. As we have discussed in past blogs, federal crimes generally carry more severe penalties when compared to state crimes, and some have mandatory minimums. 

Speak with an Attorney at Puglisi Caramés 
If you or someone you know faces federal charges, it is paramount that you seek legal representation. Our dedicated attorneys and legal professionals understand the complexities of federal law and will stand by your side to give you the support and guidance you need. Contact our office today to set up a confidential consultation so that we can learn more about your legal issue. Then we will fight to protect your rights and your future.