Bank Fraud Lawyers | Decatur Office
300 Market Street, Suite 201AB, Decatur, AL 35601
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Bank fraud is usually a crime in which the offender knowingly commits, or attempts to commit, a scheme involving theft from either a financial institution or money or property which said financial institution is in the lawful custody of (such as a bank client’s savings account).
There are several different types of bank fraud. Accounting fraud takes place when a business or sole proprietorship attempts to secure a loan from a bank, credit union or other financial institution. While this may be a perfectly legitimate loan on the surface, accounting fraud takes place when the financial representative of the business knowingly lies or misrepresents their ledger to the bank’s loan officer essentially promoting their business as more solvent, profitable or otherwise qualified to take out a loan which they would not have secured had they been honest about their finances. Accounting fraud can also be a form of loan fraud.
Loan fraud takes place either when an individual or business misrepresents their ledger to gain an advantage in a borrowing negotiation, but it can also occur if a criminal, using tactics related to identity theft, presents themselves as another person in order to garner an illegitimate loan.
ATM fraud can occur if a thief uses a skimmer, or another form of technology or technological expertise, to hack or reprogram the machine itself. Once the software or firmware security measures protecting that particular ATM machine are cracked, the criminals help themselves to the cash deposited. ATM fraud can also take place if an individual places an empty envelope (or envelopes) into the machine, claiming an illegitimate deposit. The envelopes being empty, the offender then removes as much money from the false deposit as allowable.
Bank fraud is considered to be a felony at the federal level, and at the state level, whether an incident of alleged bank fraud is categorized as either a felony charge or a misdemeanor charge depends upon the jurisdiction and circumstances.
Most instances of bank fraud become felony offenses, but misdemeanor charges can result. For example, in some states, the crime of forgery falls under the umbrella of bank fraud and can be constituted as a Class A misdemeanor in certain circumstances. Provided that the forged instrument is not a bond, deed, will, debit or credit card, mortgage, contract, release, stock, currency or government-issued, the crime could be considered a Class A misdemeanor.
The maximum penalty in response to a charge of bank fraud at the federal level is 30 years imprisonment, as well as a fine of up to $1 million.
State statutes vary in how they treat crimes related to bank fraud, and each case can be different. To use forgery, for instance, the penalty for the third-degree felony is a fine of no more than $10,000 in addition to a prison sentence of between two to 10 years. A misdemeanor can result in a maximum sentence of one year in jail as well as potential fines of up to $4,000.
That being said, almost all bank fraud cases are prosecuted at the federal level due to the fact that most financial institutions are protected by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
Charges related to bank fraud are generally considered to be serious allegations with severe punishments upon conviction. If you are facing such charges, it would be wise to secure the services of a skilled criminal defense lawyer specializing in white-collar crime cases.
An experienced attorney focusing on fraud cases will be familiar with pre-existing precedent, and attorney-client privilege will allow you to divulge all material evidence and opinions to your legal representative in private.
Do your due diligence by investigating all potential attorneys you’re considering as representation, digging deep into their credentials, courtroom track record and any appearances in media. Speak to your local legal association, legal aid department, and other avenues of relevance in order to build the best profile possible before making your decision.
Embezzlement relates to the deceitful disclosure of assets for illegal conversion of funds. Frequently, embezzlement involves employee theft from a financial institution. Bank fraud is fraudulent activity through a banking institution for the purpose of profiting by the deceit. An example is a bank manager who issues a false letter of credit so that he or she can induce others to lend money or extend credit.
Bank fraud and embezzlement are federal crimes and can result in harsh prison terms. Talk to an attorney to learn how you can protect your legal rights and prepare your defense to the charges.
Specialized legal help is available for most legal issues. Each case is unique; seeking legal help is a smart first step toward understanding your legal situation and seeking the best path toward resolution for your case. An experienced lawyer understands the local laws surrounding your case and what your best legal options might be. More importantly, there are certain situations and circumstances – such as being charged with a crime – where you should always seek experienced legal help.
An attorney consultation should provide you with enough information so that you can make an informed decision on whether to proceed with legal help.
The more experienced a lawyer is in legal practice, the more likely he/she will be able to bring about a successful resolution to your issue. Since experience matters, lawyers who’ve been practicing law for many years (with a successful track record) tend to be in high demand. You should look for information about a lawyer’s experience and ask questions during the initial meeting. It’s a very good idea to ask the lawyer how many years he/she has been practicing law and the expected outcome of your case.
Personal jurisdiction – Requirement that a particular court have authority over a person, in order to bind that person to the judgment of the court, based on minimum contacts. International Shoe Co v. Washington is a landmark Supreme Court case outlining the scope of a state court’s reach in personal jurisdiction.