People are often motivated by one thing: money. That is why many people commit fraud. They may go to great lengths to get their hands on some extra cash, especially in these tough economic times where prices are going up due to inflation and unemployment levels are still high in some areas.
Fraud and other white collar crimes may not sound serious, but they are because of how the fraud affects the victims. Mail theft is a common form of fraud, and because those who commit this crime steal checks from the mail, many people are robbed of their hard-earned benefits.
A mail theft ring was recently busted by federal postal agents. Thirteen people—four of whom work for the postal service—were indicted by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio. Allegedly, these 13 people were stealing checks and money orders from mail collection boxes outside post offices in central Ohio. In some instances, the group used postal service property to break open the blue boxes and steal the funds.
The members of the mail theft ring would deposit the checks and money orders into their bank accounts and then withdraw the money from ATMs. This is a version of the cracking cards scheme, in which checks are deposited into a bank account and the money is quickly withdrawn before the banks find out that the checks are fake.
Numerous post offices around Ohio were targeted, including ones in Columbus, Worthington, Bexley, Upper Arlington and Reynoldsburg. With more than 500, 000 postal service workers across the country, such incidents like these are rare. However, 455 postal workers were arrested last year for theft crimes. Those convicted of bank fraud could face up to 30 years in prison.
Understanding Mail Theft
Mail theft is often punished as bank fraud. Bank fraud is a federal crime under 18 U.S. Code § 1344, which is defined as executing or attempting to execute fraud to a financial institution, or by using fraudulent representation to obtain money, credit or other assets belonging to a bank.
Mail theft is common in many parts of the country—even rural areas. Approximately 10,000 people are arrested for it every year. Nearly 3,000 mail fraud cases are investigated every year. This results in 1,300 arrests and millions of dollars in restitution to the victims.
There are many types of mail fraud. You may be familiar with some of them. They include contests and sweepstakes schemes, false advertising for travel, phony billing scams, investment opportunities, work from home schemes, foreign lotteries, rebate fraud and chain letters. All of these have the potential to scam someone of their hard-earned money.
Get Legal Guidance from a White Collar Crime Attorney
Bank fraud and other white collar crimes are serious in nature. They compromise the identity and finances of other people. Act quickly to preserve your legal rights.
Contact VanNoy Firm right away to get the professional legal representation you need. Our experienced Dayton white collar crime attorneys understand the law. We will work diligently to build a strong defense that will reduce your penalties. Call us at (937) 952-5043 or contact us online today.