Sending out mass mailers for business opportunities could be a lucrative strategy. Even in the internet age, direct mail marketing might be successful. Of course, anything involving the U.S. mail has to be an honest endeavor. Those who engage in fraudulent activity with the mail system could face serious charges in a Mississippi federal courtroom.
Schemes involving mail fraud
Fraud remains a crime that entails using deception for personal gain. Often, personal gain centers on illicitly separating people from their money. As the name implies, mail fraud focuses on using the postal system to facilitate fraudulent activity.
Sending out mailers for donations to a non-existent charity would be one egregious example of federal mail fraud. Someone who advertises a product or service without delivering or intending to deliver anything could also face mail fraud charges.
The perpetrator might solicit small amounts of money, such as “selling” something for $1 and hoping tens of thousands of “customers” don’t complain when they don’t receive anything. If federal law enforcement officials discover such a racket, those $1 scams could add up to felony charges.
Confusion and accusations of fraud
Incompetence may not be the same thing as fraud. Someone could sell millions of dollars worth of products on a “pre-order” basis, promising the delivery by a certain date. Poor management and planning may lead to massive delays and open civil suits. Investigations for federal crimes might occur, but the lack of intentional deception may show the accused is not criminally liable. The issue of civil liability may be another matter.
Accusations of federal crimes may lead to indictments, but not necessarily convictions. A defense that proves no intent to defraud may result in an acquittal. Civil rights violations and law enforcement improprieties could hurt a prosecutor’s case. For some, plea bargain deals may save them from a harsh sentence.