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Plea To Federal Charges Of Fraud Results In Near 3-Year Sentence

Linda Knox entered a guilty plea to federal charges involving mail fraud in 2010. She was accused of billing for services not performed by her If It's Water and More company. For five years, between 2005 and 2010, Knox had billed customers for water sample collection services that were never completed, according to federal prosecutors.

Knox is no stranger to the criminal justice system. Her record includes a guilty plea to a charge of misconduct by a public official. While serving as the town clerk of Marshal, Knox had embezzled over $10,000 from the city. She was sentenced to community service and forced to pay a fine for that offense.

What Is Mail Fraud?

Mail fraud is very broadly defined as using the mail with the intent to deprive another person of property or services. Mail fraud has been a federal crime since 1872. Mail or wire fraud involves:

  1. An intent to defraud or commit fraud
  2. The creation of a scheme to defraud or the receipt of property through fraud, and
  3. Use of the U.S. postal system or by wire (radio, television, etc.)

18 U.S.C. §§1341 and 1343 fully define mail and wire fraud.

In Knox's case, using the mail to bill for customers for services not received and receive payment for those services was considered mail fraud. She was sentenced to serve almost three years for the federal mail fraud charges.

Source: News Observer, "Owner of NC water company gets nearly 3 years," October 24, 2012

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