PLEASE NOTE: Our office remains open at this time. To protect your safety in response to the threat of COVID-19, we are offering our clients and potential clients the ability to meet with us via telephone or through video conferencing. Please call our office to discuss your options. 

Attorney photo

Let Us Do The Worrying For You

What are the penalties for mail fraud?

North Carolina laws handle mail fraud in a harsh way. Why? Because mail fraud is a federal crime. If accused of mail fraud, you do not face misdemeanor charges. You will always face a felony charge, and the consequences that accompany it are brutal.

What are these penalties? How can they impact you in the future? And why is mail fraud a federal crime in the first place?

Why is mail fraud a felony?

The Congressional Research Service examines the sentencing for mail fraud. First, it is important to understand that mail fraud always results in felony charges. It is a federal crime due to the use of government property: the United States postal system. In other words, by sending anything through the mail, you use government property to aid in a fraud crime.

This holds true even if you used a private mail courier instead of the United States Postal Service (USPS). Why? Because even private couriers still rely on the government’s system of mailing. In addition, it applies to anything sent via the mail. This includes packages and boxes all the way down to postcards.

Penalties for mail fraud convictions

Due to its status as a felony, mail fraud convictions have hefty penalties. If convicted, you face up to 20 years in prison and a fine of no more than $250,000. For organizations, this fine rises to $500,000.

But if you targeted a financial institution or took advantage of a natural disaster, the penalty worsens. You face up to 30 years of imprisonment. The fine also rises to $1 million. After release, you may still face probation or a period of supervised release. This felony stays on record as well, which carries a stigma that can interfere in your ability to find housing or work for years to come.