Originally Posted by DEATH2000
The charge is for Theft Over $5000 not $500. Same with Fraud. Theft Under $5,000 is usually a Summary offense and results in community service and a fine in most cases for first time offenders. The Alternative Measures program also allows people to escape getting a criminal record.
Anything done over the postal system kicks the penalties into overdrive, since you are breaching a whole new set of laws.