Bank Fraud Lawyers | Florence Office | Serving Rogersville, AL
201 S Court Street, Suite 725, Florence, AL 35630
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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.
It is in your best interest to get legal help early on in addressing your situation. There are times when hiring a lawyer quickly is critical to your case, such as if you are charged with a crime. It may also be in your best interest to have a lawyer review the fine print before signing legal documents. A lawyer can also help you get the compensation you deserve if you’ve suffered a serious injury. For issues where money or property is at stake, having a lawyer guide you through the complexities of the legal system can save you time, hassle, and possibly a lot of grief in the long run.
The goal of an initial consultation is to find an attorney you are comfortable working with and someone who can help you understand your options under the law. Seek to understand the relevant legal experience the attorney brings to your case. While it is not realistic to expect an attorney to resolve your legal issue during an initial consultation, you should gain a level of comfort with his/her ability to do so. A good consultation can clarify issues, raise pertinent questions and considerations for your case, and help you make an informed decision towards resolving your legal issue.
In general, how much an attorney costs will often depend on these four factors: billing method and pricing structure, type of legal work performed, law firm prestige, and attorney experience. Depending on the legal issue you are facing, an attorney may bill you by the hour, settle on a flat fee, or enter into a contingency fee agreement. The type of legal work you need help with will also play a role in cost incurred.
Pro se – This Latin term refers to representing yourself in court instead of hiring professional legal counsel. Pro se representation can occur in either criminal or civil cases.
Statute – Refers to a law created by a legislative body. For example, the laws enacted by Congress are statutes.
Subject matter jurisdiction – Requirement that a particular court have authority to hear the claim based on the specific type of issue brought to the court. For example, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court only has subject matter jurisdiction over bankruptcy filings, therefore it does not have the authority to render binding judgment over other types of cases, such as divorce.