Many people steal identities and engage in fraud for one main reason: money. Stealing mail in order to profit can be fruitful, but it is illegal and can lead to felony charges.
Two men—one from Maryland and one from Georgia—were recently indicted on numerous criminal charges after stealing mail and credit cards and opening fake bank accounts. The men, ages 24 and 29, are originally from Nigeria.
The 24-year-old man worked as a mail carrier in Maryland and used his job to support his fraud scheme. He and the other man would steal the identities of individuals and businesses on his mail route. They worked with others, opening mail to steal identities. The men would steal credit and debit cards. They would also open fake accounts and fake businesses. They would then use the stolen cards and checks to make purchases.
The men are accused of stealing at least $565,000 from stealing the identities of two businesses and eight postal customers in Maryland. They face multiple criminal charges, including aggravated identity theft, theft and destruction of mail by a postal employee, access device fraud and conspiracy to commit bank fraud and mail fraud. If found guilty, both could face decades in prison.
Mail fraud and wire fraud are two of the top federal crimes. Mail fraud, as the name suggests, involves the use of mail in order to conduct a scheme to defraud a person or business. Defrauding someone means taking away their property through dishonest or deceitful measures. In most of these schemes, the property in question is money, although real estate and intangible assets, such as intellectual property, may also be involved.
Also, the mail only has to be a small component of the scheme. A document does not need to be mailed, nor does the scheme have to be written out in a letter. What matters is that the person used the mail as part of the crime. In this case, opening letters sent through the mail that were intended for others is the key component.
Mailf raud does not have to solely involve the U.S. Postal Service. Mail sent via UPS or FedEx may also be involved. Mail fraud is a serious crime that is often punished at both the state and federal levels, since mail often crosses state lines. Mail fraud often leads to a felony conviction, which can mean 10 or more years in jail. In some cases, the defendants must also pay restitution to the victims, which means they must repay them for what they stole.
Stealing mail and other documents that can be used for identity theft is a serious crime. Both men in this case can face decades in prison.
If you are facing fraud charges, the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. can help you protect your legal rights. Get the best outcome possible with our knowledge and expertise. Fill out the online form or call (410) 774-5987 to schedule a free consultation. We have two offices to serve you.
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