If you have been arrested for bank fraud in South Florida, you are not alone. Bank fraud is an extremely common offense handled by criminal defense lawyers in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Palm Beach. In my work as a Miami bank fraud attorney, it is common to encounter people who do not understand what bank fraud really is.
When Federal prosecutors charge a person with bank fraud, they must prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt:
1) The defendant knowingly executed or attempted to execute a “scheme” or “artifice” to defraud a bank or other financial institution.
2) The defendant knowingly executed or attempted to execute a “scheme” or “artifice” to obtain any of the moneys, funds, credits, assets, securities, or other property owned by, or under the custody or control of, a financial institution, by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises.
For each count of bank fraud a person is convicted for, he/she can be punished by up to 30 years in Federal prison, a $1,000,000.00 fine, or both.
Bank fraud is a commonly prosecuted Federal offense because it encompasses a broad array of conduct. As a result, Federal prosecutors use bank fraud charges as a way to prosecute a broad array of banking and financial institution related offenses. The following list contains some of the most common examples of criminal conduct a Miami bank fraud attorney may encounter that is prosecuted as “bank fraud”:
- Altered Check Fraud
- ATM Deposit Fraud
- Check Fraud
- Credit Card Fraud
- Credit Card Skimming
- Debit Card Fraud
- Forged Check Fraud
- Fraudulent Loan Applications
- Fraudulent Loans
- Gift Card Fraud
- Identity Theft
- Mortgage Fraud
- Phishing and Internet Banking Fraud
- Stolen Check Fraud
It is important to keep in mind that prosecutors can charge a person with multiple counts of bank fraud for each and every instance of alleged criminal conduct. For example, prosecutors may charge a person with one count of bank fraud for every purchase made using a fraudulently obtained credit card even though the use of the credit card is part of one on-going scheme.
Given the fact that one count of bank fraud carries the possibility of up to 30 years in Federal prison, criminal defense lawyers must pay close attention to the evidence in each case to determine the true extent of the client’s liability. This requires criminal defense attorneys to review each and every allegation in close detail as well as every piece of evidence that prosecutors intend to admit at trial.
Defending against bank fraud charges is not easy, but there is a true and time tested way of dealing with such cases I have developed as a Miami bank fraud attorney. Using well established principles in criminal law, the Federal Rules of Evidence, the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, as well as a criminal defendant’s Constitutional Rights, a criminal defense lawyer is able to tear apart a bank fraud case and uncover any existing defenses.