Facing Federal Bank Fraud Charges in New York?

Seeking Immediate Counsel from a Federal Defense Attorney is Imperative

The earlier you receive expert counsel, the more likely your matter will end favorably. If you’re facing prosecution, contact us immediately.

Federal Bank Fraud Charges in New York

Bank fraud charges encompass a wide array of federal crimes, ranging from embezzlement to money laundering. The charges that the government ultimately indicts you on will go a long way in determining which tailored, strategic defense your attorney will undertake. But that is only half the battle. Your federal defense attorney must also conduct a counter-investigation by interviewing witnesses, issuing subpoenas, and gathering exculpatory materials.

Bank fraud can come in various forms, including but not limited to:

  • Money laundering
  • Embezzlement
  • Racketeering
  • Forgery
  • Lending fraud
  • Wire fraud
  • Identity theft

Federal and New York State fraud charges are almost always accompanied by an identity theft enhancement as well. Indeed, many individuals who are accused of bank fraud are similarly accused of stealing someone else’s identity, or creating a fake identity, to carry out the scheme. 

On a New York State level, New York Penal Code (PL) 190 governs identity theft. Pursuant to Penal Law 190, an individual may be charged with varying degrees of identity theft based on the specific facts and circumstances that the government alleges.

For example, Penal Law § 190.81 defines the offense of unlawful possession of personal identification information in the third degree. This offense occurs when a person possesses the personal identification information of another person, with the intent to use such information to commit a felony or other crime. Personal identification information includes a wide range of identifying information, such as a person's name, address, social security number, driver's license number, or bank account information. Possessing such information without authorization or legitimate purpose is a serious crime, as it can be used to commit identity theft or other fraudulent activities.

On another level, New York Penal Law § 190.25 criminalizes the act of criminal impersonation in the second degree. This offense occurs when a person pretends to be someone else with the intent to obtain a benefit or to defraud or injure another person.

As it pertains to federal identity theft and fraud, identity theft laws under 18 U.S.C. § 1028 makes it a crime to misuse someone's identifying information, whether personal or financial. Personal identification information can include social security numbers, driver's license number, credit card or bank account information, and PIN numbers obtained through the internet. 

Moreover, aggravated identity theft under 18 U.S.C § 1028A is defined as follows: Whoever knowingly transfers, possesses, or uses, without authority, a means of identification of someone shall, in addition to the penalties for such general felony, will be sentenced to imprisonment of 2 years, or 5 years for terrorism.

This last piece is crucial. While sentencing guidelines have become advisory for federal judges, an identity theft charge on a federal level can carry a mandatory two year prison term – an enhancement that is frequently tacked on during bank fraud prosecutions.

Possible Sentencing & Penalties in New York

Some of the steepest federal sentencing guidelines are associated with bank fraud charges. The amount alleged or proven to be fraudulently conveyed, or the loss amount, can drive up your guidelines drastically. Therefore, finding creative and meritorious ways to fight back within this realm will go a long way towards limiting your exposure should a guilty plea or verdict result.

More specifically, on a federal level, if convicted of federal identity theft involving producing or transferring identification, or counterfeit, or the defendant possessed equipment to produce documents, or fraudulently obtains currency or goods up to $1,000, the penalties include up to 15 years in a federal prison, and large fines.

If convicted of federal identity theft for the purpose of drug trafficking, or connected to a violent crime, or a prior identity theft conviction, the penalties will include up to 20 years in a federal prison.

If convicted of identity theft that is connected to a means of aiding or committing domestic or international terrorism, the penalties will include up to 30 years in prison.

How We Fight Federal Bank Fraud Charges in New York

With your bank fraud charges comes vast discovery productions from the federal government. This is an important step where your defense attorney will efficiently organize, analyze, and interpret these materials.

Also, a crucial step during this process is to launch a counter-investigation. Finding and interviewing witnesses and tracking down useful, exculpatory evidence can lead to your charges being dismissed or an acquittal at trial.

Notably, many bank fraud prosecutions will turn on the government’s ability to prove your fraudulent intent, making this element a crucial factor. For example, if a person is accidentally caught up in a money laundering operation but genuinely believed that the money was being moved through lawful means, then they did not knowingly participate in the criminal activity. This is only one potential avenue to successfully defend you against such charges – many others exist and can be brought to light with the proper strategy in place.

Your Defense Begins Now

If you are being prosecuted for any of the various types of bank fraud, hire a former prosecutor and seasoned federal defense attorney who will find creative solutions to counter these complex charges.

Being charged with bank fraud is only one small piece of the puzzle. What your defense attorney does afterwards, by way of investigation and consulting with forensic accountants, will both increase your chances of successfully walking away from these accusations and shape the rest of your life.

The sooner you put your case in the hands of an experienced bank fraud attorney, the more likely your matter will end favorably. Contact us today.

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