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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 102350
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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About 15 years ago, an ex-employee went to the post office,

Customer Question

About 15 years ago, an ex-employee went to the post office, opened a po box for our business and rerouted our mail. One of the items they received was a check from a client for around 40,000.00 which they did not then turn over to us. We have been involved in a civil suit with this person for over 12 years..long story short, i wondered if it was possible to file a criminal complaint against this person for the mail fraud now? We are getting nowhere with the civil suit and this person lies continuously and never gets caught. I wondered as this is an actual crime if we could report them and if anyone would do anything about it. She also opened a bank acct in the business owners name and rerouted funds to this acct without his knowledge. Would this also be a federal crime and is there a statute of limitations on that , as well? Thanks
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note:This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

I am very sorry to hear about this situation. What she did was illegal because she tampered with someone else's receipt of mail. Under 18 U.S. Code § 1708:

Whoever steals, takes, or abstracts, or by fraud or deception obtains, or attempts so to obtain, from or out of any mail, post office, or station thereof, letter box, mail receptacle, or any mail route or other authorized depository for mail matter, or from a letter or mail carrier, any letter, postal card, package, bag, or mail, or abstracts or removes from any such letter, package, bag, or mail, any article or thing contained therein, or secretes, embezzles, or destroys any such letter, postal card, package, bag, or mail, or any article or thing contained therein; or

Whoever steals, takes, or abstracts, or by fraud or deception obtains any letter, postal card, package, bag, or mail, or any article or thing contained therein which has been left for collection upon or adjacent to a collection box or other authorized depository of mail matter; or

Whoever buys, receives, or conceals, or unlawfully has in his possession, any letter, postal card, package, bag, or mail, or any article or thing contained therein, which has been so stolen, taken, embezzled, or abstracted, as herein described, knowing the same to have been stolen, taken, embezzled, or abstracted—

Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

However, the problem is that under 18 US Section 3282, the statute of limitations for most federal crimes is five years. If this happened 15 years ago, the statute of limitations has already run.

Now, one may still be able to file a suit for the false bank account matter. If you tell me when she did this, I can see if this is still within the scope of being prosecuted.

Please note: If I tell you simply what you wish to hear, this would be unfair to you. I need to be honest with you and sometimes this means providing information that is not optimal. Negative ratings are reserved for experts who are rude or for erroneous information. Please rate me on the quality of my information; do not punish me for my honesty.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Please use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please RATE when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how experts get credit for our time. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars (or failing to submit the rating) does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith with a positive rating.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
On the website which led me to you it said there was no statute of limitations on mail fraud. Do you know of any casr where this would be the case. Its why i asked the question to begin with but then i saw that article and wanted to find out how to proceed. The bank fraud was also in 1998. I am guessing we lost out on that
Tpo. Do you think if we filed a federal complaint on these issues, even if the statute of limitations is up , we could then use this against her in court so the judge will lnow she committed these crimes and not just think the business owner is mean and kicked her out, ect?
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

On the website which led me to you it said there was no statute of limitations on mail fraud.

No, this is not true. The statute of limitations for mail fraud and wire fraud prosecutions is five years (18 U.S.C. § 3282), except for mail and wire fraud schemes that affect a financial institution, in which case the statute is ten years (18 U.S.C. § 3293).

The bank fraud was also in 1998. I am guessing we lost out on that

I am afraid so. It is too late for this if this happened in 1998.

Do you think if we filed a federal complaint on these issues, even if the statute of limitations is up , we could then use this against her in court so the judge will lnow she committed these crimes and not just think the business owner is mean and kicked her out, ect?

It sounds like this is already in litigation, or was. If it was and it was concluded, then one cannot refile again. If the civil matter was not concluded, one can only move it to federal court only if the parties lived in different states and the matter at hand was $75,000 or more. But yes, her actions showing criminal intent may be used against her in court.

Gentle Reminder: Please, use REPLY or SEND button to keep chatting, or RATE POSITIVELY and SUBMIT your rating when we are finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm sorry this has not been very helpful to me. I only agreed to inquire as I was led to you through this website which said there was no statute of limitations on mail fraud as I had thought otherwise before regarding the 5 year cutoff.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Have a nice day.
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Hello,

I am not sure which website you are referring to that "lead" you to justanswer.com. However, it was not justanswer.com. You asked a question and I gave you an honest answer which was correct. Saying that it was not helpful because it differs from a random page you just happened to read something else on is irrelevant.

Just as you would pay a physician for an analysis, you are asked to rate positively when receiving correct information. Negative ratings are reserved for experts who are rude or for erroneous information. The information I gave you was honest, and correct. If you want to disregard it, this is your decision.

Good luck in your matter. If you want a refund, you can contact customer service at www.justanswer.com/help

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Justanswer.criminal law is the page and it says under mail fraud act and laws. "What is mail fraud and what are the statute of limitations on mail fraud?" ..." there is no statute of limitation on mail fraud in the fedral system" this is a page from your website. Thats why i wanted to verify it. Do you understand? Its nit just some random internet link. Its your internet page. " just answer. Criminal law"
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

This is surprising news to me. I am going to let customer service know. Anyhow, all the best.