In Georgia, the law separates wire and mail fraud. They are two different crimes. They sometimes get mentioned together due to their similarities. It is possible for you to commit both at the same time.
But the law still treats them in different ways. The penalties for conviction of one crime are not the same for both. These differences are crucial to know.
Mail fraud as a criminal act
Cornell Law School defines mail fraud as a tool to further a criminal act. In this case, the act is defrauding someone. You intend to defraud them of their assets, money or honest services. Wire fraud holds a similar purpose. The intent there is also to defraud someone.
Mail fraud depends on the postal system. This means it involves anything you send via physical mail. You must send this item with the intent to use it in a fraud scheme. You may send a package, letter, post card or more. Also, mail fraud does not just apply to the United States Postal Service. It applies to private mailing services, too.
What is wire fraud?
Wire fraud relates to electronic and virtual mail. This includes emails, faxes and phone calls. You must still intend to defraud someone with the message you send out, though.
Mail fraud is the more serious crime between the two. It is a federal offense due to the involvement of the postal system. It is a felony. Also, any mail you send to any location counts for mail fraud. For wire fraud, only communications that cross state lines count. Convictions for both may result in jail time and fines. But mail fraud has longer sentences and higher fees.