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The Spodek Law Group understands how delicate high-profile cases can be, and has a strong track record of getting positive outcomes. Our lawyers service a clientele that is nationwide. With offices in both LA and NYC, and cases all across the country - Spodek Law Group is a top tier law firm.

Todd Spodek is a second generation attorney with immense experience. He has many years of experience handling 100’s of tough and hard to win trials. He’s been featured on major news outlets, such as New York Post, Newsweek, Fox 5 New York, South China Morning Post, Insider.com, and many others.

In 2022, Netflix released a series about one of Todd’s clients: Anna Delvey/Anna Sorokin.

Why Clients Choose Spodek Law Group

The reason is simple: clients want white glove service, and lawyers who can win. Every single client who works with the Spodek Law Group is aware that the attorney they hire could drastically change the outcome of their case. Hiring the Spodek Law Group means you’re taking your future seriously. Our lawyers handle cases nationwide, ranging from NYC to LA. Our philosophy is fair and simple: our nyc criminal lawyers only take on clients who we know will benefit from our services.

We’re selective about the clients we work with, and only take on cases we know align with our experience – and where we can make a difference. This is different from other law firms who are not invested in your success nor care about your outcome.

If you have a legal issue, call us for a consultation.
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What You Should Know About Federal Bank Fraud Laws

By Spodek Law Group | May 16, 2023
(Last Updated On: July 28, 2023)

Last Updated on: 28th July 2023, 07:21 pm

Federal Bank Fraud Laws – A Primer for the Average Joe

Hey folks, it’s your resident legal eagle Todd Spodek dropping some knowledge about federal bank fraud statutes. Now I know most of you aren’t shady bankers cooking the books (at least I hope not!). But on the off chance you’ve found yourself accused of a financial crime, it pays to understand the lay of the land. Let’s dive in!

What is Bank Fraud Anyway?

The federal bank fraud law is Title 18 U.S.C. Section 1344. In plain English, it basically means it’s illegal to knowingly carry out a scheme to defraud a financial institution or obtain money under their control through false statements or fraudulent representation.

It’s intentionally deceiving a bank or credit union to get them to fork over cash they wouldn’t otherwise. And it’s a felony charge that can land you in prison for up to 30 years! No slap on the wrist.

Some examples include:

  • Lying on a loan application
  • Depositing fraudulent checks
  • Bribing bank officials
  • Embezzling funds

If it involves dishonestly getting money from a bank, it likely falls under federal jurisdiction. And they take it very seriously considering the crucial role banks play in our financial system.

How is it Different from Check Fraud or Forgery?

While check fraud can be part of a bank fraud scheme, they aren’t necessarily the same thing. Bank fraud requires the specific intent to deprive the bank itself of money through deceptive means.

With check fraud, the intention may simply be to improperly get your hands on someone else’s money temporarily. For instance, cashing a fake check drawn on someone’s account without their permission.

Bank fraud is directly targeting the financial institution as the victim of the plot. Check kiting schemes designed to artificially inflate balances are a classic example. The perpetrator isn’t necessarily out to steal someone’s identity or assets – they want to trick the bank into lending money or approving transactions.

What About Paperwork Errors or Mistakes?

Now hold your horses just a minute. If you simply messed up some figures on a home loan application, or your paperwork had an innocent error, that does not amount to intentional bank fraud.

Prosecutors have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that you deliberately meant to mislead the financial institution and understood your actions were fraudulent. Honest mistakes don’t count.

And if a sneaky banker pressured you into a sketchy loan or financial product you didn’t fully comprehend, you may actually be the victim, not the criminal mastermind.

How Do They Investigate Suspected Bank Fraud?

When a bank detects potential fraudulent activity, they will conduct an internal investigation. If the loss exceeds $5,000, they must also file a Suspicious Activity Report with the federal government. If federal agents suspect an organized criminal operation, they may take over the investigation.

The FBI and U.S. Secret Service both have jurisdiction to probe bank fraud under the Financial Institution Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act. They have tools like subpoenas, search warrants, and phone taps at their disposal during these complex investigations.

As a suspect, you may be under surveillance without even realizing it. That’s why it’s critical you exercise your right to remain silent until you have an experienced federal defense lawyer like myself advising you. Otherwise you could make bad mistakes that tank your case!

What are Some Common Defenses in Bank Fraud Cases?

If you’ve been charged federally with bank fraud, all hope is not lost. There are a variety of solid defenses we may be able to employ, such as:

  • You lacked criminal intent and were unaware your actions constituted fraud under the law
  • You were entrapped or coerced into the scheme by a more culpable party
  • You made factual errors on forms, but did not intentionally deceive the institution
  • The bank failed to follow proper procedures in approving the transactions or loans in question

Inquiring minds want to know, how can you hope to beat an army of federal agents and prosecutors? Because I know how to exploit weaknesses in the government’s case even when it seems airtight. For instance, I can:

  • File motions challenging improperly collected evidence
  • Retain forensic experts to analyze bank records
  • Question credibility of government witnesses
  • Present evidence of your honest character
  • Highlight sloppy investigative techniques used by agents

Rest assured the sneaky federals have overplayed their hand plenty of times before, and we’ve capitalized on it!

Let’s Talk About Potential Penalties

Now listen here folks – although the potential federal penalties for bank fraud sound mighty scary, realistically the punishments are all over the map based on the specifics of each case. Plenty of variables impact sentencing, which a knowledgeable lawyer can explain. I won’t let you go into this blind!

By working closely with you to understand every aspect of your case and identify possible defenses, I can develop a strategy aimed at achieving the best possible outcome.

My goal is always keeping you out of prison if at all possible. In some cases we may be able to negotiate probation and restitution instead of jail time even in federal cases. I know the system and how to work it to your advantage.

So don’t fret – despite what the federals say, you’ve got rights. I’m here to protect them and vigorously defend you at every stage. We’re going to undertake every effort to poke holes in the government’s case until they’re sinking faster than the Titanic!

If you or someone you care about is caught in the crosshairs of a federal bank fraud investigation, give me a holler at (212) 300-5196 for a free case evaluation. You need an experienced federal defense lawyer on your team. With my insider know-how, we’ll try and turn the tables on those sneaky federals! Visit https://www.nyccriminalattorneys.com/free-case-evaluation/ to get started today. I’m always here when duty calls!

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