Texas law takes matters involving fraud seriously. This covers many different fraudulent schemes and ploys, too. If you get convicted of a fraud-related crime, you can often face hefty penalties. 

This is particularly true in the case of mail fraud. What is it, exactly? Why are the penalties so harsh? And will they apply in your situation? 

What is considered mail fraud?

The Congressional Research Service provides information on what mail fraud charges can mean for you. First, what is mail fraud? It is a form of fraud, i.e. the intentional ploy to part someone with their assets, money or access to honest services. The key detail here is that it must involve the United States mail for furtherance of the crime. 

Note that mail fraud charges can apply to anything sent through the mail. This counts whether through a private company or the United States Postal Service. Additionally, any sort of item sent through the mail can count toward fraud charges. This includes letters, postcards, packages and more. 

What will mail fraud cost you?

If you get charged with and convicted of mail fraud, you can face up to 20 years of imprisonment. You also face a fine of up to $250,000 as an individual. Organizations face fines of up to $500,000. The penalty also raises if you committed fraud in relation to a natural disaster or targeted a bank. In this case, you face up to 30 years of imprisonment and up to $1 million in fines. If identity theft ended up involved, you face an automatic 2 year prison sentence. You may also have a term of supervised release and a period of probation.