Mail Fraud: Opening Letters
50 Pages Posted: 8 Dec 2008
Date Written: 1992
This article dissects the mail fraud statute, examining briefly its historical origins. It then concentrates on developments to the crime of mail fraud, namely a legislative enactment that redefines "scheme or artifice to defraud" to include the "intangible right of honest services" and case law that enlarges the "infurtherance" element of the statute. This Article highlights the confusion and ambiguity caused by these statutory and case-law modifications. It argues that mail fraud, while moving further from its roots, has reached a level that permits its haphazard application to a wide spectrum of criminal conduct. The Article calls for legislative modification and restructuring of the statute, coupled with strict interpretation by the courts, to transform the existing "stopgap" provision into a recognizable crime.
Keywords: mail fraud, white collar crime, fraud, criminal law, federal criminal law
JEL Classification: K14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation