Mail fraud is one form of white collar crime that exists on the books. There are a number of ways mail fraud can take place, with Ponzi schemes being one of the best known forms known to the public. Some Connecticut residents may wonder through what medium mail fraud can actually take place. Are private carriers an exception? According to federal law, mail fraud can involve both the federal postal service and private operations.
The purpose of fraud is to obtain money and assets from individuals through deceptive means. Typically, the fraud involves making promises that the fraudster is unable or unwilling to honor. As FindLaw explains, mail fraud occurs when an individual sends material connected with a fraudulent operation through the mail. These materials may include contracts to a customer, a sales receipt, or any general communications about the scheme.
However, mail fraud laws do not strictly apply to messages and materials sent through the U.S. Postal Service. The federal government has made it clear that a person can be prosecuted for mail fraud by using a private or commercial interstate carrier to relay fraudulent activity. This means that malicious parties can be prosecuted for sending fraudulent material through UPS or Federal Express just the same as if they used the post office.
Mail fraud can result in fines and a prison sentence of up to twenty years. The stiff consequences of mail fraud mean that it is important to avoid the appearance of conducting fraudulent operations through the mail, and as the Connecticut State Department of Protection points out, fraud conducted through the internet can also be prosecuted. Anyone facing accusations of mail or internet fraud should consider asking professional legal counsel for representation and assistance.