West Palm Beach Bank Fraud Lawyer

Experienced, aggressive federal defense in Palm Beach County, Florida

Bank fraud is a general term that is most commonly used to describe misrepresentations that are intentionally made for the purpose of illegally obtaining money, financial assets, or other property that is maintained by a banking institution. The term can also be used to describe deceptive acts that are aimed at illegally obtaining money from depositors who use the bank’s services. The most common white collar charge filed in federal court, bank fraud often also includes instances of wire fraud and mail fraud. Some examples of crimes that are classified as bank fraud include:

  • check fraud;
  • accounting fraud;
  • wire transfer fraud;
  • identity theft;
  • money laundering;
  • payment card fraud.

Arrested on a federal charge?

Speak with an attorney immediately. Don’t say anything that might incriminate yourself.

West Palm Beach check fraud

It is not uncommon for people to write a check before their payday in anticipation that the check will not post until the required funds are available. Though most people are not charged with a crime when writing checks for small amounts, this simple act is technically a criminal act known as check kiting. People who participate in more elaborate check kiting schemes may be ordered to pay up to $1,000,000 in fines. Check kiting that is done without the intent of ever depositing enough funds to cover the check is referred to as paper hanging. Another version of check fraud, check washing occurs when an individual removes the ink from a check that has not yet been negotiated and fills in the blanks with his or her own details. Check theft and forgery are other forms of check fraud that are punishable under federal law.

Accounting fraud charges

Some businesses engage in accounting fraud when they have serious financial issues they wish to hide from investors and shareholders. Examples of common illegal accounting practices include inflating the value of the company’s assets or reporting a profit when the business is actually operating at a loss. Enron and WorldCom were the subjects of the most notorious cases of accounting fraud. Florida businesses that suspect they may be under investigation for accounting fraud should contact a seasoned accounting fraud defense lawyer as quickly as possible. It is always better to rely on the help of a lawyer in the early stages while the preliminary investigation is in progress instead of waiting until after federal agents have gathered evidence and filed formal charges.

Wire transfer fraud

Once a wire transfer is made, reversing the transaction can prove difficult. For this reason, wire transfer systems are attractive targets for financial fraudsters. Wire transfer schemes typically involve one person using a forged or counterfeit document to request that a bank transfer money from an unsuspecting customer’s account into the fraudster’s account at another bank, often an overseas banking institution. In some cases, the criminal activity is conducted by an account holder who initiates an international wire transfer, which usually takes multiple days to be completed, and simultaneously withdraws money while the transfer is pending. Next, the account holder cancels the transfer, which triggers the return of the funds to the originating account, while the ill-intended account holder keeps the money he or she withdrew.

Identity theft fraud

Identity thieves obtain a financial benefit from their illicit work by using the personal data they have stolen to request new ID cards and open accounts and lines of credit. After opening the credit accounts, the fraudsters make purchases, obtain cash advances, then disappear leaving the bank to pursue the person to whom the stolen identity belonged. The rightful owner of the personal data will likely dispute the charges and report the fraud. By then the bank typically has realized it has lost the money to theft.

Money laundering

Individuals and organization that obtain financial proceeds through illegal means are tasked with avoiding detection while reintroducing the “dirty” money back into the main financial system. The process by which they do this is known as money laundering. Bank transactions make up a component of most money laundering schemes as illegal proceeds are smuggled and deposited into foreign accounts or even simply broken into small amounts and deposited domestically into accounts that are owned by others to obscure the connection to the person who committed the original income-generating crime.

Payment card fraud

There are multiple crimes that are classified as payment card fraud, or scams that involve debit and credit cards. The simplest version of payment fraud is card theft. After stealing a card, the unauthorized user quickly goes on a spending spree, often before the card owner notices the card is missing. In other cases, card information is duplicated through the use of older carbon copy credit card machines, credit card readers that extract data from the card’s magnetic strip, and hidden cameras that record the information on a customer’s card. The practice of collecting card information through digital means is known as “skimming.” Some public ATMs are even compromised by thieves and fitted with a new reader that skims card data from customers.

Accused of bank fraud in Florida?

Sometimes innocent people may be accused of bank fraud, oftentimes as a result of mistaken identity or through unknowingly becoming involved in a concealed fraudulent scheme. A West Palm Beach bank fraud defense lawyer can helped the accused party establish his or her innocence by presenting facts that prove the case does not meet the required elements of a federal fraud offense. Bank fraud is a very serious crime that can lead to federal imprisonment; therefore, having a seasoned, experienced, and dedicated lawyer is critical to obtaining a favorable outcome.