Check Fraud Lawyer Explains the Consequences and Defense
Check fraud lawyers can represent you if you are facing state or federal charges for a check fraud offense. Prosecutors take bank fraud schemes seriously, and you could be at risk of a federal bank fraud charge with a potential penalty of 30 years imprisonment and a fine up to $1,000,000.
You need to understand all the legal options you have for trying to avoid a guilty verdict or reduce charges. A check fraud attorney can help.
Types of Check Fraud Schemes
There are many different types of schemes that can lead to fraud charges including:
- Bank check fraud: If you order checks for a closed account or write them on a closed
ac-count, this type of fraud is routinely called paperhanging.
- Fake check fraud: Checks can be fabricated using basic computer software or duplicated with an advanced color copier. Checks can also be altered using solvents and chemicals to modify vital information.
- Check Washing: Check washing involves erasing information from a bank instrument.
- Cashiers check fraud: This type of fraud generally involves a buyer giving a seller a cashiers check for an amount in excess of the purchase price for an item. The buyer then asks for a re-fund of the excess money. However, the initial check is not actually valid.
- Payroll check scam: Fake payroll checks can be created or real payroll ones may be altered using bleach or other techniques.
- Check cashing fraud: Stores that offer check cashing may engage in fraud if they knowingly cash tax-refunds obtained by identity thieves, or if they otherwise cash checks they know to be invalid.
- Check deposit scams: These types of fraud offenses involving asking someone to deposit a check into an account and provide the cash, after taking a small commission. The instrument is not valid.
- Check kiting fraud: This involves opening accounts at multiple financial institutions and creating fraudulent balances by writing checks from one account to the other, using the float time after the check is cashed and before money is
deductedto create the appearance that there is money in the account.
If you are accused of participating in these or other schemes related to fraudulent checks, you can be investigated by state or federal authorities and subject to arrest for a check fraud felony.
Loan Check Fraud
Payday loan fraud charges are routinely brought against people who were unaware that they were breaking the law. The business model of payday loans is centered around having debtors write post-dated checks or otherwise commit to paying money from a bank account de-spite having insufficient funds in the account at the time.
When a debtor does not repay the loan in full, or closes an account in order to avoid automatic payments, payday lenders may threaten to press charges for payday loan check fraud. These cases often should properly be treated as situations where there is impaired collateral or an impaired security for a bad debt, especially when lenders should be aware of insufficient funds at the time when the check is written.
While the payday lender might have a civil case, you can make an argument that criminal charges are not appropriate and that there was no intent to commit a check fraud offense. Arkady Bukh has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in NYC TOP RATED ON: SUPER LAWYERS, AVVO, NATIONAL TRIAL LAWYERS
Top Rated Criminal Lawyer
Arkady Bukh has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in NYC
TOP RATED ON: SUPER LAWYERS, AVVO, NATIONAL TRIAL LAWYERS
Electronic Check Fraud
Electronic check fraud has become a more significant problem in recent years as banks have moved more services to the Internet. One common type of electronic check fraud involves gaining access to online bank accounts, which display checks images. The details can be used to create counterfeit checks using custom printing equipment. The process is simply a more high-tech way to engage in a class type of check fraud.
Electronic check fraud, however, can result in many more criminal charges than a simple check fraud offense . You can not only be accused of bank fraud and check fraud offenses but you can also be charged with wire fraud and computer crimes.
Wire fraud is criminalized in 18 U.S. Code Section 1343 and carries a penalty of up to 30-years incarceration. The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act defines offenses related to computers in 18 U.S. Code Section 1030, which imposes penalties of up to 20 years imprisonment depending up-on the type of computer fraud offense. These additional charges can be brought any time the fraud offense involves unauthorized access to a computer or online banking system, or any time the Internet is used as part of an offense.
Check Fraud Punishment
Penalties for crimes involving checks vary depending upon whether you are charged with a state or federal offense, as well as depending upon the amount of money you allegedly took through your scheme.
New York Penal Law Section 190.05 makes it a crime to issue a bad check if you know there are insufficient funds, or that the payment will be refused. This offense is a Class B misdemeanor. Conviction for a Class B misdemeanor can result in a maximum of three months incarceration. Simply writing a single bad check can result in this charge. If you are part of a larger scheme; or if you are a repeat offender, you face longer jail terms and more serious consequences.
18 U.S. Code Section 1344 makes it a federal felony offense to knowingly engage in behavior or participate in a scheme that is designed to obtain control of assets or money from a financial institution.
In Loughrin v. United States, the Supreme Court ruled that any fraud scheme intended to obtain funds from a financial institution could lead to bank fraud charges as long as the false or fraudulent statements would necessarily be transmitted to a financial institution, even if there was no intent to defraud the bank. This means most bad check cases can now be punished under federal law because the purpose is almost always to induce the bank to cash or honor the check. Bank scam carries a possible penalty of 30 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $1,000,000.
How a Check Fraud Lawyer Can Help
Whether you are facing state or federal charges, you have the right to avoid conviction if a prosecutor cannot prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. You also have the right to a fair trial. A check fraud lawyer at NYC Criminal Defense will help you to deal with the prosecutor, negotiate a plea agreement, or defend yourself during your case to try to secure a not guilty verdict. Call today to learn more .