How to Become a Federal Criminal

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 18 Jun 2019

Member Reviews

Everyone has heard of the country club lifestyle enjoyed by the rich prisoners at Club Fed, or federal prison. Whether you are just tired of your 9 to 5 life or trying to avoid a vindictive ex-spouse, sometimes you just want to know How to Become a Federal Criminal.

From literally killing a mockingbird to offering to barter for a flamingo, federal law has some strange laws on the books. Some are profit-making activities for the government. The US seizes billions of dollars each year from foreign nationalists traveling to the US with more than $10,000 who fail to complete the proper form. A little more enforcement of this law could make President Trump’s border wall a reality. Some are just silly like the prohibition of dressing like a mail carrier on Halloween (or any day). Not the first choice of costume with so many superhero movies out now though it does add a frission of fear knowing it is illegal. And don’t get me started on the legal issues with margarine...

How to Become a Federal Criminal appears to be fairly easy and reading about it is entertaining. With three square meals, room, and board, it sounds like I have a new retirement plan that doesn’t involve a 401(k)! If you like to reflect on life’s absurdities, this is the perfect book for you. With the lack of legislation during Trump’s term so far, it can even be used by him to support his claim to be the best president ever. At least his congress hasn’t created a law making it illegal to create a wine bottle label that insults another wine. 4 stars!

Thanks to Atria Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
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This is a funny book.  The author is an intelligent researcher, and he has found a lot of random laws to write about in a humorous way.  The illustrations are great.
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I have always loved quirky laws, they show the weird side of human nature and politics.  Mike Chase did a great job putting this book together.

I appreciate the explanation at the beginning of the book how the laws are made, the differences between laws and executive orders (still law)... it made the Poli Sci nerd in me smile.

Well organized, clear, witty writing, fun to read.  Everything I want from a relaxing read.

**I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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I thought How to Become a Federal Criminal: An Illustrated Handbook for the Aspiring Offender was a fun and entertaining read. I liked it. Five plus stars.
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You probably know destroying a mailbox as a prank is actually a federal crime, but what about mailing a box of dead bees to the US without "DEAD BEES" and the country of origin clearly marked on all sides of the box in letters a minimum of one inch tall? Or going into a post office while intoxicated, or :gasp: GAMBLING in said post office? How about innocently going to a friend's house and putting a note in her mailbox? ALL FEDERAL CRIMES.

And those are just crimes involving the US Mail - which is only one section of a very funny look at federal crimes - some of which make sense, while others make you wonder what very specific act was committed in the past and was deemed a serious enough threat to  merit addition to the Code of Laws of the USA.

Highly recommended.

Oh, and if you're someone who still operates a citizen's band (CB) radio, be sure you don't whistle over the air - unless you have $500 to spare.
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Have you cut off a mattress tag and sold the mattress to someone?  Have you communicated with pirates?  Or have you drawn too large a mustache on a dollar bill?  If so, you are a Federal criminal! Is Congress not wonderful?  It has provided so many laws that can be broken!  And Mike Chase is here to help you know when, where and how to do it!

In eight chapters, Mike Chase walks the would-be criminal through what you would need to do to be come a Federal criminal.  Chapter 1 discusses becoming a criminal by mail.  Chapter 2 deals with animal criminality.  Chapter 3 concerns money  crimes.  Chapter 4 allows food to be criminalized.  Chapter 5 brings alcohol into the mix.  Chapter 6 sorts through crimes on Federal property.  Chapter 7 entertains thoughts of pirates and the sea.  Chapter 8 is the catchall - i.e.  anything not covered in the other chapters.

Mike Chase actually comes by his knowledge legally since by day he is a white collar criminal defense lawyer while at night he puts out the @CrimeADay Twitter feed.  How to Become a Federal Criminal is his attempt to share the fun he has had in dealing with crime with a wider audience.  So if you have an interest in the law, in crime, in what not to do so you do not get caught as a criminal, or any combination there of, do read this title!
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How to Become a Federal Criminal will make you laugh from the very first page. Sometimes I just need to shake things up and get some full on humor on my reading list and this was perfect. It outlines the various crazy federal laws that are in existence in a light, easy and fun to read format. Let me give you an example of these “crazy laws” I am referring to: did you know it really is against federal law to kill a mockingbird? Are you aware that clogging a toilet in a national park can result in 6 months of federal prison time? - Silly things like that!  I think I said “WTF” so many times while I read this. So many random AF federal laws! It also includes drawings and would make a great coffee table book. I was so entertained! I really could not stop giggling.
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