Of the myriad ways an individual can be charged at the federal level, mail fraud is seen the most often. You might find it helpful to learn about the legal definition of mail fraud as it takes place in California.
What makes it mail fraud?
By itself, fraud is the act of purposefully fooling someone to obtain money or any other personal gain. It takes two things for an action to be legally classified as mail fraud. The first is a plot to deceive someone. The second is that the person sent something in the mail to execute their scheme.
If you’re charged with mail fraud, you might end up behind bars for as long as 20 years on top of receiving a steep fine. But it can be even more severe if you add a financial institution to the scheme. Things also escalate if there’s a presidential declaration of emergency or disaster. The maximum fine is set at $1 million dollars, and the maximum sentence jumps up to 30 years.
Examples of mail fraud in the real world
The most common forms of mail fraud are geared toward people who are most easily tricked. This includes seniors, veterans, people who are unemployed and small business owners.
One of the quintessential mail fraud schemes is the fake offer to improve your home. Other popular plots involve healthcare or health insurance.
These plots are generally built around things that everybody has to think about and that many have anxiety over. Mail fraud is often used to prey on that vulnerability.
People are charged with mail fraud more often than any other federal crime. If you learn about the elements of mail fraud and potential defenses, it may help you build a strong strategy to counter the allegations.