What is the difference between mail and wire fraud?

In Texas, there are different laws for mail and wire fraud. Sometimes these charges end up tied together. Because of that, some people think they are the same crime. But that is not the case.

Today we will look at the difference between mail and wire fraud. We will see what actions constitute each crime. We will also view the potential penalties for each crime if convicted.

Wider requirements for mail fraud

Cornell Law School looks into mail fraud and what it entails. But first, we will look into the definition of fraud in general. Defrauding someone means that you trick them out of money, assets or honest services. The fraudster uses deceptive tactics and practices to do this. It may include omission of information. In some cases, it involves misleading or incorrect information.

Mail fraud and wire fraud differ in many ways. The primary way is that mail fraud encompasses everything sent through the mail. If you send something with the intention to defraud another party, it is mail fraud. You could send anything from packages to postcards. You could use the United States Postal Service or a private mail carrier. None of this matters. Using any type of mail service in a fraud scheme is mail fraud.

The requirements for a wire fraud charge

By comparison, wire fraud has tighter requirements. First, wire fraud is the use of any electronic messaging service to commit fraud. This includes emails, faxes and chat room conversations. It also includes phone calls, voice messages and texts. For something to fall under the definition of wire fraud, a message must cross state lines.

Each type of fraud may come with hefty fines and time in jail. But the amount you pay and the jail time you face differs depending on the charge.