Any crime that involves use of the United States Postal Service (USPS) or digital/electronic communication can result in federal criminal charges for United Postal mail fraud. When someone is under investigation for postal service fraud in Texas, they should immediately speak with a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer. USPS fraud penalties may include time in federal prison and substantial financial penalties.
United Postal Mail Fraud
Post office fraud includes the use of the U.S. Postal Service, television, radio or Internet to communicate false advertisements or promises for the purpose of defrauding the public. U.S. Postal Service fraud may include any scheme to illegally obtain a financial benefit by utilizing the public mail system or other federally regulated forms of communication. If the postal system is used at any juncture during the commission of a crime, the perpetrator can be charged with postal service fraud.
Using the postal service to commit a crime could result in a separate federal criminal charge in addition to charges arising from the violation of state law. According to the Texas Penal Code, to be convicted of postal fraud, the following elements must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The perpetrator communicated a false promise or statement.
- The statement was intentionally communicated for the purpose of being relied upon by the public.
- The statement was communicated to secure property or money from the public.
- The statement was delivered by the USPS or electronic/digital means.
- Property or money was secured as the result of the false promise or statement.
Post Office Fraud
Modern methods of communication have only added to the available means of defrauding the public in Houston, Texas. Nevertheless, the prohibition against using the U.S. Postal Service or other federally regulated communication technologies has remained constant. Using the mail or electronic communication networks to take financial advantage of unsuspecting individuals, government agencies, financial institutions and businesses can be quite lucrative.
When a criminal devises a scheme to obtain a financial benefit without delivering the promised goods or services, a criminal charge may be forthcoming in Houston. Using the mail system to commit the crime raises the stakes significantly. Employing the postal service or electronic/digital communication to commit a crime could result in up to 30 years in federal prison and a fine of no more than one-million dollars.
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