“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.
If you have been charged with health care fraud, you will want to contact a New Jersey health care fraud defense attorney. The penalties for health care fraud can be very severe. However, this crime may be difficult to prove and your attorney can help explain your defenses and options.
Types of Health Care Fraud
There are many types of health care fraud that a New Jersey health care fraud defense attorney can explain to you. Some common types include:
- Physician. Fraud committed by a physician can include submitting bills for services that were not provided, seeking compensation for uncovered services and seeking kickbacks for referrals.
- Patients. Fraud committed by a patient can include obtaining prescription drugs for illegal or recreational purposes, seeking false reimbursements and forging medical documents.
- Hospital. Hospitals may engage in fraud by not using proper staff, performing unnecessary services and submitting inaccurate claims.
False Claims Act
One key federal law related to health care fraud is the False Claims Act. This act makes it illegal to submit false claims to the government. Your attorney can explain that to prove this claim, federal prosecutors will generally have to show:
- Intent. A person must have had the intent and knowledge to engage in fraud. So a simple mistake would not be considered a federal crime.
- Claim Made. A person must have taken an affirmative step by submitting an actual claim to the federal government.
- Misrepresentation. A person’s misrepresentation must have been material, meaning that it influenced the government to take some act.
Sentencing and Penalties for Health Care Fraud
The penalties for health care fraud can be very severe:
- Prison. A person could face up to 20 years or more in federal prison for the most severe health care fraud cases. In addition, there are other sentencing guidelines depending upon who the person allegedly defrauded, e.g. Medicaid and Medicare.
- Fines. If a person is accused of engaging in an ongoing health care fraud scheme, they could face monetary penalties in the millions of dollars.
- Restitution. If the person allegedly benefited from the fraud, they may be ordered to pay back the amount that allegedly was improperly obtained.
Contact a New Jersey Health Care Fraud Defense Lawyer
If you are facing such charges, contact experienced New Jersey health care fraud defense attorney, Tim Anderson, by calling 732-212-2812.
If you have been charged with the crime of insurance fraud, you will want to work closely with a New Jersey insurance fraud lawyer. Insurance fraud includes a wide variety of crimes such as receiving improper payments, making exaggerated claims and submitting false claims. The penalties for insurance fraud can range from monetary fines to significant prison time.
Types of Insurance Fraud
Some common types of insurance fraud that a New Jersey insurance fraud lawyer deals with includes:
- Health Insurance Fraud. These acts of health insurance fraud may be committed by patients, doctors and even hospitals themselves. Victims of health insurance fraud can include insurance companies and government entities like the Social Security Administration and Medicare.
- Auto Insurance Fraud. Individual policy holders may submit false and exaggerated claims. Auto repair companies may also bill for extravagant, unnecessary and overvalued service.
- Disaster Fraud. When there is a natural disaster like an earthquake or flood, individuals may take advantage and submit false claims.
- Workers’ Compensation Fraud. Employees may be untruthful when reporting injuries at the workplace. They may submit claims for fake injuries as well embellish the severity of job limitations.
Punishment for Insurance Fraud
There are two broad categories of insurance fraud including “soft fraud” and “hard fraud.” Soft fraud can include acts like making exaggerations on a claim and billing for more services than you received.
Hard fraud includes arguably more serious acts like inventing a claim or even staging an accident. Hard fraud penalties can include lengthy prison sentences, substantial fines, forfeiture, restitution and other penalties.
Contact a New Jersey Insurance Fraud Attorney
The penalties for insurance fraud can be severe. As a result, you will want to work with an experienced insurance fraud defense attorney. To learn how attorney Tim Anderson can assist you, contact him at 732-212-2812.
What is a fraud?
Typically, a fraud occurs when someone is deceived in order to obtain money, property or services from them.
What is Mail and Wire fraud?
The federal mail and wire fraud statutes cover most any type of fraud that in some way uses the “mail” or “wire.” “Mail” includes not only the United States Postal Service but also any mailings sent through a private commercial carrier. “Wire” includes the use of a telephone, television, radio, internet, computer or other communication device. To prove mail or wire fraud, a prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant somehow used the mail or other communication device to perpetrate a scheme with the intent to commit fraud. Frequently, mail and wire fraud charges are used in conjunction with more specific type of fraud charges, such as bank fraud or insider trading.
What should I do if I am charged with mail or wire fraud or I am believe I am being investigated?
Mail fraud or wire fraud is a serious charge with severe consequences. An indictment of mail or wire fraud will be based upon a significant and detailed investigation. It is important to discuss your rights, potential defenses and case strategies with an experienced white collar defense attorney if you believe that you may be under investigation or as soon as you are indicted. Early preparation by an experienced defense lawyer can increase your chances of a favorable outcome, including the possibility of you not being charged or of charges being dropped.
If you are being investigated for or have been charged with mail or wire fraud, the Law Offices of Timothy R. Anderson can help. Tim Anderson has extensive experience in handling mail and wire fraud cases.