Kurt Kerns, Attorney at Law
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Mail fraud suspects may face federal charges

Several residents of Wichita were recently the victims of mail fraud, which remains one of the least understood simple crimes. Authorities have arrested two suspects, and reports indicate that the individuals were apprehended while taking mail out of mailboxes in the middle of the day.

Mail fraud is often fairly low-hanging fruit for individuals who are looking to make a quick buck. A simple scam may involve taking mail and looking for credit card offers to the relevant residents. Then the person or persons could simply apply for credit cards with the residents' information and they may not know about it for a long time. It is a crime that can seriously harm credit ratings and create lots of financial problems for the victims.

It is not, however, a crime that is taken lightly by the law, even though it is one the absolute easiest crimes to commit. Many people who participate in mail fraud may not be aware that this is a violation of federal law, because the Postal Service is a federal agency. So, a simple case of identity theft that may seem like a very small scam and one might expect would result in a slap on the wrist if caught — it will result in federal charges, which carry much heavier penalties. In the case of mail fraud, it can mean up to five years in prison or $250,000 in fines.

Most people who commit these kinds of crimes aren't bad people, but they are being incredibly foolish. It would be a shame to throw away large portion of one's life with a silly mistake like mail fraud. If you have been charged with any kind of crime, it is essential to get the best representation that you can to get the best chance at a fair trial and to ensure that your rights are protected.

Source: KWCH, "After Wichita mail thefts, expert gives advice on keeping your information safe," Deedee Sun, Dec. 04, 2016

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