While federal sentencing laws can be quite complex, it is important for those facing federal criminal charges to take the time to understand exactly what sentence they could potentially face if convicted. Arming yourself with this knowledge can help you and your New Jersey federal criminal defense attorney make educated decisions regarding your case. Watch the video below for information regarding the federal criminal sentencing process.
“Because that’s where the money is.” Bank fraud is different than bank robbery or theft, but the same reasoning applies as when Willie Sutton was once asked, “Why do you rob banks?” Banks always have been and always will be subject to fraud because that’s where the money is, as a New Jersey federal defense attorney will tell you.
A Crime of Secrecy
Bank fraud may be defined by a New Jersey federal defense attorney as an intentional misrepresentation to fraudulently obtain money or other assets from a bank or other federally insured financial institution. Perpetrators of bank fraud act in secret, hoping that some time passes before their fraudulent act is detected. The lack of violence or force in committing bank fraud makes it among the offenses categorized as white collar crimes.
An Inside Job or an Outside Job
Inside bank fraud is perpetrated by someone who works for a bank or has access to restricted information. It can be particularly difficult to detect because of the number of individuals who have positions of responsibility with each bank. Included among insider bank fraud are:
Forging documents to conceal a theft
- Making fraudulent loans
- Identity theft
- Using the bank’s funds to invest in the stock market
- Wire fraud
Outside fraud involves people not associated with the bank. Common crimes a New Jersey federal defense attorney sees include:
- Forging checks
- Check kiting
- Passing bad checks
- Identity theft
- Stolen debit/credit cards
- Money laundering
- Accounting fraud
Bank Fraud is a Federal Crime
Bank fraud is taken very seriously and punished accordingly. Citing the federal statute:
“Whoever knowingly executes, or attempts to execute, a scheme or artifice
(1) to defraud a financial institution; or
(2) 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;
shall be fined not more than $1,000,000 or imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both.”
Defenses to Bank Fraud
By its very nature, bank fraud is complex. Consequently, investigations into alleged misconduct are extensive, lengthy and take time to develop. Most people who are targeted as potential defendants are aware their behavior is under scrutiny. That is the time to act and retain experienced counsel. An understanding of not only the complexities of financial transactions but also the difficult burden of proof prosecutors have in such cases is essential to providing an effective defense.
Each case must be evaluated and proceed on its individual merits, but common defenses to bank fraud include:
- Lack of criminal intent; the heart of any fraud charge is the intent of the accused. If a reasonable doubt can be created that the individual acted in good faith and made an honest mistake, the prosecution’s case can be weakened.
- Lack of fraud; bank regulations and transactions are increasingly complex. Lawful transactions can be mistaken for fraud.
- Search and seizure issues; the evidence needed to prosecute a bank fraud case may involve thousands of documents. Each must be gathered in a lawful manner.
Contact a New Jersey Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer for Legal Advice
If you are the subject of an investigation regarding bank fraud, you need to act quickly. Time is of the essence. Call Tim Anderson at 732-212-2812.
A skilled New Jersey federal criminal defense attorney defines pre-trial custody credit as credit given for time that a defendant has spent in custody prior to trial.
If you have been arrested and detained prior to trial, that time is usually factored into your sentence. This is true in the majority of state courts and in federal courts. If, however, you have been placed under house arrest, are in a halfway house or are being monitored electronically, such credit is not normally accorded in most states.
As the types of facilities to which you may be confined are typically unpleasant, your Trenton federal criminal defense attorney will work towards having you released on bail. It is possible that you may not be convicted, so it follows that you may never be incarcerated at all. Your attorney will be working towards this, naturally. Even if you are released from a holding facility and placed on electronic monitoring or house arrest, you are at least in a better position to help your lawyer on your case.
Be Sure You Have Help
If you are facing charges, don’t hesitate to seek help. Contact Tim Anderson, a seasoned federal criminal defense attorney, by calling 732-212-2812 today.
A New Jersey federal criminal defense lawyer might employ several strategies on behalf of a defendant. Two of these strategies are the use of an affirmative defense or an alibi.
An Affirmative Defense
An affirmative defense does not try to refute the actual criminal offense, but instead will look at mitigating factors. Some common affirmative defenses are entrapment, duress, justifiable act, self defense or mental illness. This can be a mistaken defense approach for the following reasons:
- In many cases, an affirmative defense presents an opportunity for evidence to be presented to the jury that would normally be considered inadmissible. For example, this kind of defense may allow the prosecution to present evidence of similar things the defendant may have done in the past.
- If the defense presents an affirmative defense argument, the court may shift the burden of proof onto the defense. Even if the defense is not required to prove the argument, the jury might reject it unless there is evidence to support it. It is common for jurors to conclude that the defendant is essentially admitting that he or she committed the crime and is now seeking an excuse. To counteract this, the defense will have to make a very compelling argument.
A common defense argument is an alibi. An alibi is evidence that the defendant was in another location than the scene of the crime at the time the criminal act took place. In many cases, an alibi does not help the defendant. In many cases, defendants wish to use friends or family members to provide an alibi. Jurors are likely to consider these witnesses as biased and may not believe the witness’ testimony.
As with an affirmative defense, an alibi opens the door for the court to shift the burden of proof to the defense. In other words, testimony alone may not be enough to persuade a jury that an alibi is legitimate. The defense may need to provide concrete evidence, such as surveillance camera footage of the defendant eating at a restaurant, for example.
Seeking Legal Counsel
If you have been charged with a crime, you may want to seek legal counsel from New Jersey federal defense attorneys. To arrange for a confidential appointment with a New Jersey federal criminal defense lawyer, please call the office of Tim Anderson at 732-212-2812.
Your NJ Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer Explains Bank Fraud and Why It Is Critical to Have a Proper Defense
The federal crime of bank fraud covers a broad range of activities. As your NJ federal criminal defense lawyer explains, to be convicted of bank fraud, you typically must have:
• Attempted to carry out a scheme to obtain money or property from a financial institution chartered or insured by the federal government; or
• Concealed information or made statements or promises you knew were false when you made them.
Your NJ federal criminal defense lawyer notes that you can be convicted of bank fraud even if the scheme was not successful, and the bank did not suffer an actual loss. In addition, you may be prosecuted even if the conduct was outside of the United States.
Your NJ federal criminal defense lawyer can describe the defenses available. A few of the common defenses seek to show that:
• You made the false statements in good faith and believed them to be true when you made them; or
• The property involved was not under the custody or control of the financial institution.
Other Federal Criminal Crimes
However, as your NJ Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer will emphasize, a charge of bank fraud is often accompanied by other claims, such as:
• Mail or wire fraud;
• Money laundering;
• Transportation, sale or receipt of stolen goods; and
• Use of a false or fictitious name, address or title (i.e., identity theft) as part of the scheme.
If you have been accused of bank fraud, your NJ federal criminal defense lawyer urges you to understand how these offenses are characterized and what is required for your NJ federal criminal defense lawyer to establish a proper defense.
NJ federal criminal defense attorney Tim Anderson can help you evaluate the charges and understand what will be needed for your defense. Contact him at 732-212-2812 to schedule a consultation.
What is Bid Rigging
A New Jersey federal criminal defense attorney can explain that bid rigging is an action by two or more businesses to undermine the competitive bidding process by deciding among themselves who will submit the lowest bid. A New Jersey federal criminal defense attorney will caution that sellers need to avoid practices that may be interpreted as bid rigging.
A New Jersey Federal Criminal Defense Attorney Discusses Elements of Bid Rigging
A New Jersey federal criminal defense attorney will inform you that bid rigging agreements typically involve practices such as:
- Rotating winning bids among members of the group
- Dividing the market by allocating customers, types of contracts, or geographic areas to specific members of the group
A New Jersey federal defense attorney can also tell you that these schemes are implemented by having members of the group:
- Refuse to bid or withdraw a bid without explanation
- Submit bids containing extremely high prices, while the selected winner submits a bid that is lower but still above market rates
- Provide bids containing conditions unacceptable to the buyer, while the selected winner leaves those conditions out of its bid
A New Jersey Federal Criminal Defense Attorney Discusses Consequences of Bid Rigging
A New Jersey federal defense attorney is a great source of advice on the potential consequences of a bid rigging charge. However, bid rigging falls under the antitrust laws as a restraint on trade. Consequently, these violations can lead to federal criminal prosecutions resulting in:
- Up to 10 years imprisonment
- Fines of up to $1,000,000 for individuals and $100 million for corporations
- Orders to make restitution
- Additional charges under mail fraud, money laundering, racketeering, conspiracy, perjury and other criminal laws
In addition, a New Jersey federal criminal defense attorney will explain that businesses who were the victims of bid rigging conspiracies may file separate civil claims and receive up to three times the amount of their losses.
Contact a New Jersey Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer Today for Legal Assistance
A New Jersey federal criminal defense attorney can help you determine if business practices place you at risk of a bid rigging claim. Call Tim Anderson at (732) 212-2812 to arrange for a consultation and discuss your case today.