Reboot, a Greenville retail location where individuals can buy, sell and trade consumer electronics has been accused of conducting a variety of fraudulent activities. More than a dozen Reboot employees were indicted earlier this month in federal court on the charge of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud.

The business was raided in January by Secret Service agents as well as Greensville County deputies. Law enforcement officers discovered a number of stolen goods, and the Greensville County Sheriff’s Office referred to Reboot as a “fencing operation.”

What is mail fraud?

When the U.S. mail is used to commit a criminal act, that act is called mail fraud. According to 18 U.S. Code 1341, there are a number of things you must do in order for an act to be considered mail fraud:

  • You must have been engaged in a scheme to defraud
  • The scheme must have involved material misstatements or omissions
  • The scheme resulted – or would have resulted – in the loss of money, property, or honest services
  • You must have used U.S. mail in furtherance of the scheme to defraud
  • You used or caused the use of U.S. mail

In the case of the Reboot employees, stolen items were being sold online and shipped to customers, which led to the charges they are facing.

What is wire fraud?

Wire fraud is very similar to mail fraud, except rather than using the U.S. mail to commit fraud, an individual uses an interstate communication device to commit fraud. This includes the use of telecom equipment, such as the internet, email, or telephone.

What happens if you are charged with wire or mail fraud?

Mail and wire fraud are serious crimes, and if convicted of either one, you could face a hefty fine and/or spend up to 20 years in prison.

What should you do if you are charged with wire or mail fraud?

If you are charged with fraud, it is a serious – and potentially stressful – matter. Choosing an experienced criminal defense lawyer – one who can explain the process to you and help you understand your options – should be your first step.