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Forging Checks from Mail Sent through the U.S. P.S.
posted on 9/24/23

Even though many people pay their bills online with credit cards, debit cards, PayPal, and Venmo, physical checks are still frequently used as payment methods. These checks are commonly sent by mail through the United States Postal Service (U.S.P.S.).

Checks in the mail can be intercepted, however, and then subsequently altered. Payees can be substituted, and payment amounts can be changed. With sophisticated and easily available online tools, check forging can be accomplished by even inexperienced forgers.

For more information on conspiracy to commit mail fraud charges, our Chicago federal criminal defense lawyers at Glasgow & Olsson explain more below.

Lag Time

When a forged check is deposited, it could take a day or a few days to show as posted and then cleared on a bank customer’s account. If the alteration is done well, the bank will not be aware of the fraud until notified by the bank account holder. And, unless the bank account holder religiously monitors his or her account daily, the fraud could go undetected for weeks. During this interim time, the forger can transfer the money from his or her account to another account, thereby making it more difficult to trace the funds.

Federal Crime

Life can be unpredictable, and anyone can fall on hard times. In such a situation, thinking about how to make up financial losses can be stressful. In an attempt to figure out the right approach to manage such a situation, it is not uncommon to have a conversation with others about what to do to obtain money and fast. 

A conspiracy occurs when two or more people agree to commit a criminal act. So, if an individual and another party discuss and plan to commit some form of mail fraud, like searching for checks in the mail to forge so they can secure funds, then this can be problematic. Even if the plan is not executed, these individuals can still be charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, “A conspiracy offense is distinct from the crime that was the focus of the conspiracy, and it is charged as a separate offense.” 

Get Help Now

People become involved in crimes for many reasons. A sudden illness can drain their cash reserves, a job loss can cause instant financial stress, friends can pressure them to get involved, or the idea of quick returns for a small amount of labor can be irresistible.

Regardless, if, for any reason, you are considering engaging in unlawful activity with another party but ultimately change your mind, your first step should be getting legal help if you are facing conspiracy charges.

It is imperative to contact a lawyer who specializes in criminal conspiracy cases. Experience is key when it comes to criminal defense, and the highly competent and compassionate lawyers at Glasgow & Olsson are a great resource. When you need an attorney, experience matters. Contact Glasgow & Olsson today to learn how their knowledgeable and skilled lawyers can help you now.