The phrase “mail fraud” is a broad definition that encompasses any scheme designed to deprive another person of property via the United States postal service.

As a federal offense, a mail fraud conviction can result in serious penalties, including but not limited to, large fines, prison time and restitution.

There are many forms of mail fraud, such as the following:

  • Charity donation fraud
  • Work-at-home scams
  • Health insurance fraud
  • Credit card or debt card fraud
  • Loan schemes
  • Illegal solicitations
  • Any scam that charges money for a product or service that the government provides to United States residents for free

A mail fraud conviction could change your life

If you’re convicted of mail fraud, it’s critical to understand your charges and the steps you can take to protect your legal rights. A conviction is likely to negatively change your life, as penalties can include:

  • Fines: A fine as high as $1 million per occurrence is not out of the question. This could impact your finances for the rest of your life.
  • Imprisonment: Depending on the severity of the crime, you could receive a prison sentence as long as 30 years.
  • Restitution: If your victim(s) lost money as a result of your crime, you may be ordered to pay restitution.

Any charge of mail fraud, regardless of the circumstances, requires your full attention. It’s the steps you take after being charged that will determine what happens next.

Remember, just because you’re charged with mail fraud doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be convicted. There are defense strategies you can use to prevent a conviction or to reduce the penalties against you.