mail fraud

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Mail fraud occurs when the U.S. Mail is used in the furtherance of a criminal act. In order for a defendant to be convicted under 18 U.S.C. 1341 for committing mail fraud, the following elements must be satisfied: 

  • The defendant must have been engaged in a scheme to defraud.
  • The scheme must have involved material misstatements or omissions.
  • The scheme resulted, or would have resulted upon completion, in the loss of money, property, or honest services.
  • The defendant must have used or caused the use of U.S. mail in the furtherance of the scheme to defraud.

Conviction of mail fraud will result in either a fine, imprisonment, or both.

[Last updated in July of 2023 by the Wex Definitions Team]