The law differentiates white collar crimes from blue collar crimes in several ways. But when it comes to potential penalties, white collar criminal convictions can have just as big of an impact on your life.
For example, mail fraud is one of the more common types of white collar crimes. What is it? And how does the law punish those convicted of it?
What is mail fraud?
The Congressional Research Service discusses the crime of mail fraud. Mail fraud is a form of fraud in which you utilize the U.S. postal system to defraud others. Fraud schemes often have several overarching goals. But the main gist is to part the victim with their assets, money or access to honest services.
Mail fraud encompasses anything sent through the U.S. postal service to meet this goal. This includes letters, postcards, packages and more. You are liable to face mail fraud charges regardless of whether you use public or private postal carriers, too. After all, all mail eventually gets to the hands of the U.S. government workers. This is also what makes mail fraud a felony.
What are the penalties?
As a felony, mail fraud carries hefty penalties. For example, if convicted, you may face up to 20 years of imprisonment. You may also face $250,000 in fines. For organizations, the fine raises to $500,000 maximum. You also face harsher penalties for targeting financial institutions or taking advantage of a natural disaster. In that case, you may face up to 30 years in prison and $1 million in fines.
Needless to say, these penalties can have a big impact on your future. If you face charges for mail fraud, you may want to discuss your situation with a legal professional.