When a person thinks of federal crimes, it is highly likely that the bigger and flashier crimes typical of Hollywood blockbusters often come to mind first and foremost. However, a crime does not need to be a big, flashy production in order to fall under federal jurisdiction.
In fact, mail fraud actually falls under this category. But why is mail fraud such a serious crime?
What does mail fraud entail?
The Department of Justice looks into mail fraud as a federal crime. Mail fraud falls under this category due to the fact that it involves the use of a government-sanctioned system, i.e. the United States Postal Service (USPS).
In general, mail fraud is an act or plan to defraud an individual, separating them from assets, money, or the right to access honest services. In these cases, the party committing fraud will use mail to carry out their plans.
Mail fraud can include anything and everything sent through the mail, including postcards, letters, packages and more. It still counts as a federal crime even if the perpetrator initially sends their letters or packages out using a third-party service like FedEx due to the fact that these services still eventually route back through the USPS mail system.
Crossing state lines
On top of that, mail fraud often occurs across multiple state lines. Because of this, it cannot fall under the jurisdiction of one single state. Federal law will thus oversee the crimes and resulting court cases then.
Naturally, the penalty for mail fraud fits what one would expect of a federal crime. This is why many people accused of committing mail fraud will seek immediate legal aid.