What is Mail Fraud?
Mail fraud is a more common federal charge and conviction. It involves the use of the U.S. Postal Service System (USPS) in furtherance of committing a fraudulent or deceitful scheme. While the mail system consists of USPS, it also includes other private mail delivery services such as UPS and FedEx. Mail fraud may be committed by individuals and businesses, as well as facilitated against both individuals and businesses. Generally, mail fraud charges have been used by the federal government to fight white-collar crimes such as financial fraud. As a result, this federal charge has also been extremely helpful in prosecuting individuals involved with PPP loan fraud.
Mail Fraud Statute
18 U.S.C. Section 1341 contains the elements of the mail fraud statute. The mail fraud statute makes it illegal to use the U.S. mail system to assist in any scheme or fraud. There are two elements in mail fraud:
- having devised or intending to devise a scheme to defraud (or to perform specified fraudulent acts),
- and use of the mail for the purpose of executing, or attempting to execute, the scheme (or specified fraudulent acts).
Mail Fraud Penalty
Mail fraud is a felony charge and conviction. The original crime of fraud has its own penalties in addition to the penalties involved with mail fraud. A mail fraud conviction can be punishable by up to 20 years of imprisonment. Having a conviction of mail fraud can also result in a fine of up to $250,000. In addition, fines of up to $1 million per offense are possible for fraud involving financial institutions or federal disaster relief.
If you or someone you know is being investigated or is charged with mail fraud in connection to PPP loans, contact Cantafio & Song PLLC as soon as possible so we can use our legal expertise to help assist you in this matter!