There is a broad array of different white-collar crimes that are charged by the federal government in South Carolina and elsewhere across the United States. Mail fraud is one such federal crime that carries significant consequences and penalties.
Definition of mail fraud
On the list of the most frequently occurring types of white-collar crime (including RICO, embezzlement and health care fraud), mail fraud must be considered one of the most common. Mail fraud is defined as the use of the US Mail for the furtherance of a criminal act. Obviously, this can cover quite a bit of ground.
Elements of mail fraud
In order to be convicted of mail fraud, five elements set forth in federal law must be satisfied:
- The defendant must engage in a scheme to defraud.
- The scheme to defraud must involve material omissions or misstatements.
- The scheme resulted, or would have resulted if completed, in a loss of money, services or property.
- The US Mail was used to further the scheme to defraud.
- The person charged with such a crime used or caused the use of the US Mail in its commission.
Examples of types of mail fraud
Mail fraud takes many forms in South Carolina and across the United States. There are some types of mail fraud that do occur with more regularity:
- Fraud against the elderly
- Fraud against veterans
- Bank fraud
- Other types of financial fraud
- Telemarketing fraud
- Employment fraud
- Sweepstakes or lottery fraud
A person charged with mail fraud would probably be well-advised to consider protecting their interests by consulting with a criminal defense attorney. To mount a defense against charges for this crime, it would also be best to retain legal counsel with experience in the federal court system.