Federal Mail Fraud
Federal mail fraud – mail fraud is always a considered a federal crime. There are several crimes that are always or almost always considered federal crimes. One federal crime that has been around for more than 100 years and is still prevalent is mail fraud. Federal mail fraud is one of the most common federal charges to this day. It is also a federal crime that most people have heard of and recognize right away is a federal crime.
What is federal mail fraud?
Mail fraud is governed by Federal Statute: USC code 18 section 1341. Under this statute a wide variety of fraudulent activity is described, that can relate to several things. The main points/elements for a crime to constitute mail fraud rather than something else are:
- Obtaining money or property from another under false pretenses,
- Selling, distribution, exchange, supplying or issuing counterfeits,
- The mail or some postage service is used in some form or fashion to achieve or attempt to achieve this fraud.
**You may feel free to read the statute in its entirety but it does not provide very clear information**
Why is this considered a federal crime?
Mail fraud is typically a federal crime due to the interstate commerce clause of the United States Constitution. The Commerce Clause give the federal government power over matters involving interstate commerce, and typically mail fraud involves activities from state to state.
If all the activities that involve mail fraud somehow all occurred in the state, it would likely be charged as a state crime such as obtaining property under false pretenses.
Punishment for mail fraud
Mail fraud is punishable by a fine and imprisonment of up to 20 years. Mail fraud that involves benefits connected to a presidentially declared major disaster or emergency, or that affects a financial institution, results in enhanced penalties that include fines of up to $1 million and imprisonment for up to 30 years.
However, like all other federal crimes mail fraud is subject to federal sentencing guidelines, which factor in the defendant’s criminal record and the specific facts and circumstances surrounding the crime.
If you or a loved one has been charged with mail fraud, you should contact a federal criminal defense attorney right away. At Gilles Law we handle a wide variety of federal crimes in North Carolina and South Carolina. Contact us today for more information.