Bank Fraud Defense Lawyers
Morally, bank fraud is a very ambiguous crime. Since the target is a faceless financial institution, many fraudsters do not feel like they are doing anything wrong. But the victims usually feel differently. That’s especially true since, directly or indirectly, account holders usually pay for bank fraud matters.
However, from a legal perspective, bank fraud, like healthcare and other types of fraud, is relatively straightforward. Basically, fraud is an intentional misrepresentation of a current fact made with the intent of obtaining an illicit game. More on the elements of fraud below.
Fraud is also straightforward from an investigative standpoint. Frequently, authorities view financial crimes as civil matters. But fraud is different. Federal investigators always aggressively look into these allegations. Investigations usually develop momentum. Once an agency has invested significant resources into an investigation, supervisors expect to see results. These results are usually arrests and convictions.
Federal law enforcement agencies have almost unlimited resources with which to investigate bank fraud and other such crimes. At The Law Offices of Vadim A. Glozman, our Chicago bank fraud defense lawyers cannot possibly match these resources.
But what we lack in one area, we make up in other areas. These areas include our attention to detail and our passion for protecting individual rights. We never let anything slip through the cracks. And, we consider it a privilege to stand up for your rights in court.
As mentioned, bank fraud is an intentional misstatement calculated to produce an illegal financial gain. Let’s break these elements down a bit.
In this context, “intentional” usually means “non-accidental.” We all make mistakes. Some of us make significant mistakes, such as large accounting errors. The government has the burden of proof to establish intentionality. Usually, prosecutors rely on conduct to prove intent. For example, if a loan applicant entirely omits a major debt, that omission was most likely intentional.
Incidentally, the misstatement must be material. Generally, a material misstatement is something central to the requested service. If Javier lies about his immigration status to obtain a loan, that misstatement might not be material. But if he lied about his income, that misstatement is almost certainly material.
The statement is usually a presentation or an act. Filing a false document or presenting a false document could be fraudulent statements. Opening a fake account could also be a fraudulent statement.
Finally, on this point, the misstatement must usually involve current information. If the misstatement involves prior data, as a fraudulent tax return from the previous year, that’s in a gray area.
Kinds of Bank Fraud
Like “fraud” itself, “bank fraud” is an umbrella term that covers a variety of matters. As mentioned, authorities often classify some frauds as civil matters. They aggressively prosecute other kinds of bank fraud, such as:
Money Laundering: Depositing “dirty” funds into a “clean” account is one of the most common forms of money laundering. The account at issue could be a DDA (Demand Deposit Account), like a checking account, or an investment account, like an IRA. For this reason, banks usually flag large cash transactions.
ATM Fraud: Usually in these cases, the misstatement involves placing a skimmer or other device on an ATM that steals account details and other personal information. Deposit fraud is also common with certain kinds of ATMs. The fraudster deposits an empty envelope. Usually, several days elapse before the bank recognizes the mistake.
Bill Discounting Fraud: These schemes are relatively rare and quite sophisticated. Basically, the fraudster convinces the bank to act as a bill collector. At first, the “clients” pay regularly. If the bank begins crediting future bill payments in advance, the fraudster takes the money and runs. Frequently, authorities jump the gun in bill discounting fraud cases and move in too quickly. Intent is difficult to prove in these cases.
Internal Fraud: The fraudster is not always someone outside the bank. Frequently, the culprit is a bank employee. Cashiers file false transaction reports, rogue traders file false financial reports, and bankers use drafts payable at other branches to steal money.
Wire Transfer Fraud: These schemes could involve the transaction or the participants. Some fraudsters steal account or login information and wire money to themselves. The so-called “secret shopper” scam is a participant-driven wire transfer fraud matter. Fraudsters convince people to wire money to a dummy account so they can provide feedback about their experience. Then, the fraudster vanishes with the money.
Loan Fraud: This area might be the most common form of bank fraud. Making false statements on loan applications and stealing a person’s identity are clearly fraudulent. It’s also illegal to tap into another customer’s line of credit, either by deception or force.
Significantly, bank fraud charges usually don’t require money transfers. The crime is normally complete when the fraudster makes a false statement with the requisite intent.
Bank Fraud Investigations
Financial crimes usually have a civil feel. But they are criminal matters. Therefore, the same rules apply to bank fraud investigations as violent crime and other investigations. These rules usually involve the protection of individual rights from government overreach.
These investigations, especially money laundering investigations, often have long paper trials. In money laundering cases, fraudsters often run funds through several accounts before the money ends up in a legitimate location. Frequently, these accounts are at offshore institutions which must comply with specific privacy laws.
A defective search warrant at any point could cause the case to collapse like a house of cards. Generally, large transactions or cash transactions are suspicious. But they do not serve as a probable cause of criminal wrongdoing unless there is some other evidence of criminal activity. That additional evidence is necessary to establish probable cause for the warrant.
Typically, once bank fraud investigators believe they have enough evidence to confront a suspect, they interrogate the suspect. Individuals have important rights during these interrogations. Chief among them is the right to remain silent. This right applies to not only verbal silence but also physical silence. Suspects need no answer questions or sign statements. They also need not provide passwords or commit other physical acts against their will.
A grand jury indictment is usually the final step in this process. If prosecutors subpoena witnesses, a Schaumburg bank fraud attorney can usually negotiate with the government and establish favorable ground rules for this testimony.
You can rely on the legal team at The Law Office of Vadim A. Glozman to have your back and provide you with dedicated support throughout the entire criminal legal process.
Bank Fraud Defenses
Procedural defenses, substantive defenses, and/or affirmative defenses are usually available in bank fraud matters. The details of how your charges came about, how the evidence was secured, and the strength of the evidence will all be examined by your lawyer to identify flaws.
Usually, procedural defenses involve errors in the aforementioned investigations. For example, if a search warrant was defective, any evidence obtained under that warrant is fruit from a poisonous tree and therefore inadmissible in court. The same thing applies to investigative leads which stem from an illegal interrogation. If interrogators didn’t strictly adhere to the rules, it’s like the interrogation never happened.
On a related note, bank fraud matters often involve jurisdictional issues. Prosecutors must bring charges in the correct court. Otherwise, the judge might dismiss them out of hand.
Substantive defenses usually involve a lack of evidence. In court, the government must establish every element of bank fraud beyond a reasonable doubt. That’s the highest standard of proof in American law. Jurors cannot determine moral guilt. They must only determine what allegations the state has successfully proven.
Coercion is often an effective affirmative defense in bank fraud cases. Usually, these offenses involve multiple actors. Fraudsters often threaten to harm individuals if they do not perform certain tasks. Frequently, such threats are extremely subtle. However, if the defendant felt coerced, the defense usually applies.
An experienced criminal defense attorney will know how to identify any errors or weaknesses that exist in your case. When you work with the Chicago bank fraud defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Vadim A. Glozman these defenses and others can be leveraged during pretrial negotiation sessions. Usually, prosecutors agree to reduce the charges against the defendant or decrease the penalties.
Because of the harsh punishments and implications that can come with a conviction, it is important to get in touch with a fraud defense lawyer as soon as possible to best protect your rights. Your lawyer can represent you, advocate for you, and provide you with valuable legal guidance through every step of the criminal process.
Contact a Dedicated Cook County Bank Fraud Defense Attorney
When you work with the aggressive and strategic legal team at The Law Offices of Vadim A. Glozman, the objective is to always secure a not guilty verdict. Otherwise getting reduced charges or obtaining advantageous plea deals is the goal.
Federal criminal charges can be unnerving and frightening, but a number of successful resolutions are available. For a confidential consultation with an experienced white collar crimes lawyer in Chicago, do not wait to contact The Law Offices of Vadim A. Glozman by calling 312-726-9015. The talented team of criminal defense attorneys at The Law Offices of Vadim A. Glozman routinely handles matters in Cook County and nearby jurisdictions.
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