The term ‘bank fraud’ describes an umbrella of fraudulent crimes targeting financial institutions. As a federal crime, bank fraud typically counts as a felony, and a conviction results in fines and time in prison. If an individual willingly and knowingly commits fraud, such as falsifying documents or forging checks, different varying penalties are set for the offense.
At Dod Law, our legal team understands the complexity of fraud cases involving financial institutions. If convicted, you may face steep penalties and have a felony placed on your record. We’re eager to help our clients understand their rights in obtaining a skilled defense and provide defense strategies that may lessen penalties and the damage of a felony conviction.
When Is Bank Fraud a Felony in California?
There are different types of situations and activities that can fall under fraudulent acts. While ‘bank fraud’ is not explicitly addressed in California law, different types of fraud involving illegal financial advantages can be considered banking fraud on a state level.
However, federally, bank fraud includes the following:
- Defrauding a financial institution.
- Using fraudulent or false pretenses, representations, or promises to obtain money, funds, assets, security, or property owned and controlled by a financial institution.
Examples of felony-level bank fraud in California may include:
- Impersonation or Identity Theft
- Bad checks
- Internet bank fraud
- Loan fraud
- Making false statements
- Mail fraud
- Wire fraud
In most cases where people obtain high amounts of money due to defrauding an institution, it is difficult to convince a judge to lessen the offense to a misdemeanor or dismiss a charge. However, it is possible to present a solid defense and reduce the penalties you may face if a felony conviction results from fraudulent acts.
Will I Go to Prison for a Conviction?
Violating California’s fraud laws does not cause injury or physical harm to another, but fraud is still prosecuted aggressively in California. On the level of a felony offense, many individuals face a prison sentence along with other consequences because of the amount of money and credible losses involved.
Defenses to bank fraud allegations:
- No criminal or fraudulent acts were committed
- There is a lack of credible evidence
- Allegations against you are false
- Evidence retrieval was conducted unlawfully
- There is a lack of intent
- Case of mistaken identity
- Mistake of fact for false statements
- No justifiable reliance
Bank fraud on the federal level is punishable by up to a thirty-year federal prison sentence, a one million dollar fine, or both. Also, you may expect to have the responsibility of restitution to compensate for the damage caused to the financial institution. Different elements can influence a judge or jury’s decision for your case based on your involvement in the crime, the level of an offense, the amount of money involved, and other factors. Your past criminal record, if any, may also influence the results of a case decision.
Benefits of Hiring an Experienced Bank Fraud Lawyer
With a skilled attorney, you can discredit any unlawfully obtained evidence or avoid a conviction due to a lack of evidence. In cases where a client is accused of fraudulent acts, a skilled legal team must review the evidence and work to ensure false accusations are not leading to a conviction. With expert witnesses, testimonies, and other forms of evidence, you may put your best foot forward in any case.
Attorney Dod Ghassemkhani May Help You Fight Bank Fraud Charges in California
Felony convictions can be very damaging to a person’s life and record. Our legal team understands the challenges and financial hardships one may face after a felony conviction, especially after one is accused of bank fraud. Individuals arrested for one or several counts of fraudulent acts may benefit from obtaining the help of an experienced attorney who understands how to refute the prosecution’s claims.
At Dod Law, San Diego, Criminal Defense Attorney Dod Ghassemkhani has eighteen years of experience developing defense strategies and legal resources to help our clients. We evaluate every aspect of a case, including the collection of evidence, key witnesses, testimonies, and necessary court proceedings. To schedule a free consultation with our team, complete a contact form or call us at (619) 814-5110.