People in Alaska who are accused of carrying out fraudulent scams are often charged with mail fraud. Mail fraud is a federal crime in which a person commits an act of fraud through mail communication. Though it’s similar to wire fraud, mail fraud must involve physical mail rather than electronic communication methods.
What constitutes mail fraud?
If a person used a mail delivery service as part of a fraudulent scheme, they can be charged for mail fraud. The mail delivery service that was used could be the United States Postal Service or any private carrier such as UPS or FedEx. The piece of mail involved in the scheme does not need to cross state lines in order to be considered part of a federal mail fraud crime.
Anyone who knowingly participates in mail fraud can face these types of charges. For example, a mail courier who knowingly delivers illegal items could be charged for mail fraud along with the other people who organized the scheme.
Examples of mail fraud
Federal mail fraud charges are often part of indictments of alleged organized criminal organizations. Receiving payments in the mail that are the proceeds of criminal activities can be considered mail fraud. Mailing cash to a local official as a bribe could also result in mail fraud charges.
Sometimes, mail fraud is central to a fraudulent scheme. Some common forms of mail fraud include fake requests for money sent to elderly people. For example, fake charities may request donations or fake companies may ask for payments for services that were never done.
Mail fraud schemes are sometimes more involved than a simple written request for money. In a common mail fraud scheme, a person might receive a letter offering a free home inspection. When the inspector shows up, the victim may be asked to pay for home repairs that never end up being done.
Defense against mail fraud charges
If you are accused of mail fraud, you may argue that the piece of mail in question cannot be traced back to you. In some cases, it may be difficult for prosecutors to prove the exact origin of a package or letter that was dropped off at a post office.