Top Columbia Falls, MT Bank Fraud Lawyers Near You
Columbia Falls Bank Fraud Information
Lead Counsel independently verifies Bank Fraud attorneys in Columbia Falls and checks their standing with Montana bar associations.Our Verification Process and Criteria
- Ample Experience Attorneys must meet stringent qualifications and prove they practice in the area of law they’re verified in.
- Good Standing Be in good standing with their bar associations and maintain a clean disciplinary record.
- Annual Review Submit to an annual review to retain their Lead Counsel Verified status.
- Client Commitment Pledge to follow the highest quality client service and ethical standards.
What Is Bank Fraud?
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).
What Are Some Different Types of Bank Fraud?
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.
Is Bank Fraud a Felony or a Misdemeanor?
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.
What Is the Punishment for Bank Fraud?
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).
How to Choose a Bank Fraud Lawyer
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.
Have You Been Charged With Embezzling or Defrauding a Bank?
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 Embezzle Legal Help
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.
Top Questions to Ask When Hiring an Attorney
- How many years have you been practicing law? How long have you practiced law in the local area?
- How many cases similar to mine have you handled in the past?
- What is the likely outcome for my case?
In legal practice, experience matters. An experienced attorney will likely have handled issues similar to yours many, many times. Therefore, after listening to your situation, the attorney should have a reasonable idea of the time line for a case like yours and the likely resolution.
How to Prepare for Your Initial Consultation
Prepare for your consultation by writing down notes of your understanding of the case, jot down questions and concerns for the attorney, and gather your documents. Remember that you are trying to get a sense of whether the attorney has your trust and can help you address your legal issues. Questions should include how the attorney intends to resolve your issue, how many years he/she has been practicing law and specifically practicing in your area, as well as how many cases similar to yours the attorney has handled. It can also be helpful to broach the subject of fees so that you understand the likely cost and structure of your representation by a specific attorney and/or legal team.
Does firm size matter?
For most consumer legal issues, the size of the practice is much less important than the experience, competence, and reputation of the attorney(s) handling your case. Among the most important factors when choosing an attorney are your comfort level with the attorney or practice and the attorney’s track record in bringing about quick, successful resolutions to cases similar to yours.
Common legal terms explained
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.