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Illionois defense attorney,  Illinois criminal defense lawyerThe crime of mail fraud was first addressed by the federal government in the mid-1800s after evidence surfaced that people were using the U.S. mail system to conduct various scams. The interstate nature of the mail (and eventually wire service) effectively required the matter to be one of federal interest. As a result, in 1872, it became a federal crime for a person to use mail services—and now the internet—to willingly and knowingly deprive another person of their money, property, and/or services.

It is important to keep in mind that in order for an act or scheme to constitute mail or wire fraud, it must intend to defraud another party by means of wire communication or the mail. This means that an advertisement for a legitimate product or service—even one that is deceptive or misleading—is not generally considered fraudulent. The intent of the accused is the key to the case. The suspect must have intended to obtain something for nothing in order for the act to constitute fraud.

State and Federal Charges

In Illinois and some other states, wire and mail fraud are also prosecutable at the state level. If you are charged with both state-level mail fraud and federal mail fraud, your cases will likely be pushed up to federal court. The elements of such cases are similar at both levels.

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Illionois defense attorney,  Illinois criminal defense lawyer,Anyone that has ever been to the post office to mail a package is familiar with the questions postal workers ask. One of those is whether or not the package contains anything that is flammable, toxic, or otherwise potentially dangerous. Most people immediately say the package does not contain any of those contents. Truthfully, most cannot even remember what the postal worker said. However, listening to this question and responding truthfully is important. If you do mail any of those prohibited items, even by mistake, you can be charged with a federal offense.

What Is Unlawful Mailing and Suspicious Packages?

The offense of unlawful mailing and suspicious packages is covered under 39 U.S.C. Section 3001. This lengthy statute outlines a laundry list of offenses pertaining to sending mail through the United States Postal Services (USPS).

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Posted by on in Fraud

Illionois defense attorney,  Illinois criminal defense lawyerIn mid-March, news of the college entrance scam involving Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman broke throughout the country. Loughlin is accused of bribing school officials at USC to allow her two daughters admittance into the university. Her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, was also arrested for his involvement in the alleged crime. Huffman meanwhile, was arrested for bribing school officials into giving her daughter more time during the SATs.

Now all three face charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. What do the legal statutes say these crimes involve?

What Is Mail Fraud?

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