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Louisiana Federal Criminal Defense Lawyers
Louisiana Federal Criminal Defense Lawyers
Louisiana Federal Bank Fraud Defense Lawyer
Federal bank fraud is considered a white-collar crime which is often perceived as a less serious offense with lesser penalties than blue-collar or violent criminal offenses. However, the truth is the opposite. White-collar crimes are considered serious offenses with harsh penalties. The general idea is that white-collar crimes are victimless crimes, but that is far from the truth, which is why a bank fraud conviction means facing serious consequences. A federal bank fraud conviction can result in severe fines and prison time, and even after completing a prison sentence, your job and career opportunities are severely limited.
At John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm, we know how detrimental facing federal bank fraud charges can be to someone’s life and career. Federal bank fraud defense attorney Eric Johnson has over two decades of criminal experience and understands the ins and outs of white-collar crimes. He knows what you’ll face throughout the process and the ripple effects you’ll face if convicted, which is why he is determined to help his clients find the best resolution that best suits their needs.
What is Federal Bank Fraud?
Federal bank fraud is the deception to steal assets or money from a bank, financial institution, or bank’s dispositors. A financial institution includes credit unions and banks that are federally insured, including:
- Federal reserve banks
- Federal deposit insurance corporation
- Mortgage lending agencies
- Other institutions that accept deposits of money or other financial assets
Generally, bank fraud involves deliberate actions aiming to defraud a financial institution. It may involve intentional actions with the goal of receiving assets, money, securities, credits, or property from a financial institution through false information or pretenses. The law definition of bank fraud is broad, and several facets of this offense must be considered.
What Constitutes Federal Bank Fraud?
Given the broad nature of the definition of bank fraud, understanding the specific types of illegal acts that constitute bank fraud requires an in-depth understanding of federal law and the history of bank fraud cases. There are many different forms that bank fraud can take, including:
- Fraudulent loans
- Bank impersonation
- Stolen checks
- Internet bank fraud
- Identity theft
- Mortgage and real estate fraud
- Bank fraud conspiracy
Common behaviors that may be considered federal bank fraud include:
- Hacking financial institutions’ networks and breaching data security protocols
- Hacking individual consumers’ and businesses’ bank accounts
- Making fraudulent use of shell companies and other legal structures
- Using inside information or position of employment to defraud a financial institution
- Theft of bank-held funds
- Gaining access to bank-held funds through other illegal means
- Credit card fraud
- Check fraud
- Bank account fraud
- Identity theft and submission of false or fraudulent information to a financial institution
These acts may also lead to additional charges such as wire fraud, money laundering, tax evasion, and other federal crimes.
Prosecution of Federal Bank Fraud Charges
To be convicted of federal bank fraud charges, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you:
- Attempted to or executed a scheme to defraud a financial institution or that you obtained or attempted to obtain a financial institution’s money through false or fraudulent pretenses.
- Knowingly and willfully participated in the scheme intending to defraud or obtain money through false or fraudulent pretenses.
- The financial institution was federally insured, a federal reserve bank or a member of the Federal Reserve System.
Federal bank fraud sentencing guidelines are severe, and if you are convicted, you may face up to 40 years in federal prison and fines of up to one million dollars.
Possible Defenses to Federal Bank Fraud
When you’re charged with a federal crime, you’re up against the federal government and its strong legal representation. That’s why it’s important to contact your own skilled federal criminal defense attorney that can not only help even the playing field but substantially increase your chances of a favorable outcome. A Louisiana federal bank fraud defense attorney can raise several legal defenses to the charges you face, including:
You had no Knowledge or Intent to Defraud
If you were involved in a fraudulent transitions action but did not know of its fraudulence or unlawful pretenses or did not intend to participate in the lawful transition, then the allegations against you can be proven unfounded.
You Did Not Participate in a Scheme to Defraud a Financial Institution
If you were not involved in the scheme or the activity you conducted did not involve taking money directly from the bank but instead came from an intermediary (such as a bank member), then you cannot be convicted of federal bank fraud—but it is still possible to be convicted of other crimes.
There was no act of Misrepresentation
Depending on the circumstances, your defense attorney may be able to prove that the facts presented as misrepresentation are, in fact, true, then you cannot be found guilty of federal bank fraud.
The Financial Institution Never Faced any Actual Threat of Potential Loss
The financial institution doesn’t need to suffer actual loss if it can be shown that the institution never faced a potential loss regardless of how the scheme occurred.
The Financial Institution was not Federally Insured
Committing fraud against a private lender may still expose you to criminal liability, but if the lender is not federally insured, then the federal offense allegation is no longer valid.
Work with our Experienced Louisiana Bank Fraud Defense Lawyer
A federal bank fraud conviction can be devasting to you and your loved ones. That’s why hiring a dedicated and trusted Louisiana federal bank fraud defense attorney is vital. They have the education, experience, and resources necessary to protect your rights and best interests even when facing formidable forces like the federal government.
The criminal defense attorney at John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm has the respect of district attorneys, judges, and sheriffs across the state. Attorney Eric Johnson is a problem solver known for finding successful resolutions through plea negotiations and in court. Eric does not settle for any deal that compromises his client’s best interests and can help resolve your case in a way that favors you. Contact our firm today at (318) 377-1555 or fill out our contact form.