Is mail fraud a felony?

On Behalf of | May 21, 2020 | Felonies

In Florida, the law considers some white collar crimes to be felonies. This means the law treats the charges in a more severe manner. Felony convictions often come with longer jail sentences and bigger fines.

Today, we will look at one of these crimes. Mail fraud is a felony that most people do not know a lot about. We will look at what mail fraud is. We will also compare it to wire fraud, which people often mistake it for.

How is mail fraud defined?

Cornell Law School has an in depth definition of mail fraud in the U.S. First, it is an act of fraud. In any fraud scheme, the overall goal is to defraud a victim. Money and assets are common goals. The fraudster may also aim to deprive a victim of honest services. So how does mail fit into a fraud scheme?

If you use mail to further a fraud scheme, you are committing mail fraud. This goes for any type of mail, including letters, packages and postcards. It covers anything sent through the United States Postal Service. It also covers anything sent through private mail carriers. As long as you mailed something physical to use in a fraud scheme, it counts.

The definition of wire fraud

Wire fraud, by comparison, covers electronic messages. This includes texting, phone calls, emails and more. Wire fraud also only applies to messages that cross state lines. By comparison, the term mail fraud applies to anything sent anywhere by mail.

Mail fraud is a felony due to the involvement of government services and property. This means convicted individuals face up to 5 years in jail and up to $250,000 in fines. In other words, it is a serious crime with serious consequences.


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