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How do wire and mail fraud compare?

On Behalf of | Nov 5, 2020 | federal offenses | 0 comments

In Texas, state laws treat matters of fraud seriously. This is especially true of frauds classified as federal offenses. Among these offenses are mail and wire fraud. These crimes share a lot in common, but do not think they are the same thing. 

The law classifies wire and mail fraud as two separate crimes. As such, you could face different penalties if convicted of either. But what are the differences between the two? 

Mail fraud

The Congressional Research Service looks at both mail and wire fraud. These acts both involve fraud, which is a plan that involves separating a person from their goods or assets without their consent. It is the means that differ. 

Mail fraud involves the use of mail in a fraudulent scheme. This includes both private and public couriers, as all mail couriers use the United States postal system at some point. It also includes any size of mail, from postcard to large package. 

Wire fraud

Wire fraud involves the use of electronic communications to further a fraud plan. Examples include phone calls, text messages, emails and faxes. The law categorizes acts of wire and mail fraud as federal felonies. You can face charges of wire and mail fraud at the same time, which can result in a hefty stacked penalty. 

If convicted of wire or mail fraud, you may face up to 20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines. For organizations, the fine is $500,000. If the target was a financial institution or happened in relation to a natural disaster, you face up to 30 years in prison and $1 million in fines. As you can see, in either case, the penalty is harsh. 

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