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What is the difference between mail and wire fraud?

On Behalf of | May 1, 2020 | White Collar Crimes |

In California, wire fraud and mail fraud are some of the most common charges for white collar crime. They share similarities. In some cases, committing one means you are also committing the other. But in the end, they are two different crimes.

Today we will take a look at the differences between mail and wire fraud. We will see how the eye of the law views these particular crimes. We will see why the law considers them different to begin with.

Mail fraud

According to Cornell Law School, mail fraud is when you use U.S. mail in a criminal act. This involves defrauding someone of property or money. In other words, an act of deception parts the victim from their property or money. This deception may come in many forms. A few include misrepresentations, false statements or concealment of information. To commit mail fraud, you must use the U.S. mail service or private mail services to aid in the fraud.

Wire fraud

Wire fraud also involves elements of deception. The main goal is to defraud a person of property or money as well. So what is the difference? This lies in the way the crime happens. Mail fraud focuses on use of the postal system. Wire fraud involves use of interstate wire transmission instead. This includes texting, email, phone calls, faxes and even chat rooms online.

Another primary difference is the reach of these charges. Mail fraud applies to any use of the mailing system. But for wire fraud, the involvement of interstate wire transmission is necessary.

These differences are important to keep in mind. If you face wire or mail fraud charges, the law handles them in different ways. All the same, it is important to remember they are serious crimes.

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