Bank Fraud Lawyer San Francisco, CA
As an experienced bank fraud lawyer in San Francisco, CA can explain to you, bank fraud is defined under statute 18 U.S. Code § 1344: “Whoever knowingly executes, or attempts to execute, a scheme or artifice to defraud a financial institution; or 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” — and it’s nothing to mess around with — “shall be fined not more than $1,000,000 or imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both.”
Common types of bank fraud involve remotely created checks, card skimming, fraudulent demand drafts, check kiting, check forgery, fraudulent loan documentation, empty ATM deposits, and fraudulent wire transfers. If you have been accused of any of these, or any other type of bank fraud, you may be wondering just what kind of defense is possible.
A conscientious defense lawyer, such as those at the Morales Law Firm in California, will examine all the evidence pertaining to the case. However, if they conclude that the evidence is admissible and that it seems to support the prosecution’s case, that’s when it becomes interesting.
A bank fraud lawyer in San Francisco, CA knows that in order to get a conviction on bank fraud charges, the prosecution has to prove that the defendant knowingly and intentionally committed fraud. Proving someone else’s state of mind is never easy, and there are several arguments that your lawyer may put forward.
The first might be arguing that you acted in good faith. This comes down to showing that you didn’t know that your actions were illegal. Factors in this defense include your age, education, and profession. If you are a bank manager with 25 years of experience, you’d be expected to know banking rules and regulations. However, there are plenty of people who have no reason to know the ins and outs of the banking system, and if you are one of them, you may be called up to explain this to the judge.
You may also be asked to explain that you had no intent to defraud the bank or its customers. If you can demonstrate that your actions were an honest mistake, this will make it easier for your lawyer to argue a lack of intent. Remember that proving intent is a crucial element of proving fraud.
Another argument that goes to your state of mind is whether you committed fraud under duress. This means that you were threatened with violence or another type of coercion, and you reasonably believed that you or someone else would be badly hurt if you did not go through with the fraud. You will not be held criminally liable if you committed bank fraud under duress.
If you have been accused of bank fraud and you acknowledge that the prosecution’s evidence will be difficult to disprove, you need to reach out to a bank fraud lawyer in San Francisco, CA who has seen it all before. They will be able to talk with you about whether you actually intended to defraud the bank.