Bank Fraud Attorney in Dallas/Fort Worth
If you have been accused of bank fraud, chances are that you’re on the lookout for a bank fraud attorney in Dallas/Fort Worth. Bank fraud is a white collar crime that is considered very serious by the United States government. More often than not, bank fraud cases are tried in federal court, and a federal bank fraud conviction can add up to 30 years in prison and fines up to $1 million.
At Westfall Sellers, our bank fraud attorneys based in Fort Worth are familiar with the rapidly evolving landscape of litigation involving bank fraud, and can provide our clients with experienced representation. We are deeply knowledgeable of the ins and outs of bank fraud accusations, as well as the various ways people find themselves caught up in complex bank fraud litigation.
Learn why and how having an aggressive bank fraud attorney in Dallas/Fort Worth can help you build a case with a strong defense, then call Westfall Sellers to schedule a free consultation today: 817-928-4222.
What is bank fraud?
In a general sense, bank fraud is any crime that involves the use of intentional deception in order to steal money from a bank or its depositors. Bank fraud is defined in Title 18 of the U.S. Code (18 U.S.C. § 1344), which states that someone commits bank fraud if they “knowingly execute, or attempt to execute, a scheme or artifice to:
- defraud a financial institution; or
- obtain any of the moneys, funds, credits, assets, securities, or other property owned by, or under the custody or control of, financial institutions, by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises.
For more information on the particulars of bank fraud, please see our article: “What is Bank Fraud?”
Why hire a bank fraud attorney in Dallas/Fort Worth? Understanding the consequences of bank fraud charges
The lure of money can lead otherwise good people to make very bad decisions, whether they’re going through financially hard times or not. But whether you got involved in financial fraud because you made bad decisions or being accused of bank fraud due a misunderstanding, the consequences can be severe.
As we’ve already mentioned, a federal bank fraud conviction can land you with up to 30 years in prison and fines up to $1 million. Considering the maximum number of years someone can be sentenced to prison for robbing a bank is 20 (if no-one was injured or killed in the process), that may seem excessive… until you consider the fact that bank fraud costs the banking industry billions of dollars a year.
Regardless, these immense penalties put people in a position where even one bad decision related to bank fraud can destroy their lives. On top of jail time and fines, someone even simply convicted of bank fraud will likely struggle to find future employment and lose their credibility and reputation.
Aggressive prosecutors can and often do take advantage of the steep potential penalties of a federal crime, as well as the fact that litigation surrounding bank fraud can be extremely complex. But a federal defense attorney in Dallas/Fort Worth can help individuals who have been accused of bank fraud fight back both before and/or during a trial. The Westfall Sellers bank fraud attorney will fight tenaciously to defend you from the charges brought against you.
Common bank fraud defenses
In order to prove that someone has committed fraud, a prosecutor prove three essential elements to establish bank fraud:
- That you knowingly executed or attempted to execute a scheme to defraud
- The scheme to defraud was material
- That the financial institution was insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
Accordingly, a bank fraud attorney in Dallas/Fort Worth works to disprove that these elements apply to you and your situation. In order to do so, they may employ any of the following defenses.
1. That you acted in good faith
To have acted in good faith is to have acted as though you believed your actions were legal and that they were carried out for what you thought were legitimate business purposes. Proving that you acted in good faith can be difficult, but is often established by outlining your knowledge of the situation at the time of alleged crime. Age and experience can also corroborate a defense of good faith.
2. That you lacked intent
Trite though it may sound, mistakes do happen. And if that’s what happens when it comes to your bank fraud case, your bank fraud attorney in Dallas/Fort Worth may use that lack of intent as part of your defense strategy. Say, for example, that while filling out paperwork for a loan proposal, you accidentally included an incorrect figure or gave an incorrect answer, which in return resulted in your obtaining a loan that you otherwise would not have received.
Your bank fraud attorney can build a defense that shows the misinformation was the result of a mistake instead of a deliberate action. One of the easiest ways to corroborate this defense is to demonstrate that you were open and honest with your communications and showed a willingness to correct the mistake.
3. That you acted under duress
Even if you intentionally committed a fraud, if you did so under duress, then you should not be held criminally liable for your actions. In order for this defense to be relevant, however, you must prove that you were under significant duress, i.e. that you or your family were threatened with harm, etc..
4. That the fraud was immaterial
Not all mistakes are equal: if you are being accused of fraud for either mistakenly or intentionally misrepresenting something that isn’t relevant to the decision a bank made, then your bank fraud attorney may argue that the misrepresentation is immaterial. A common example given of immaterial misrepresentation is that of misrepresenting your address (although, of course, doing so can have material consequences in certain cases).
Westfall Sellers Attorneys: Aggressive bank fraud attorneys in Dallas/Fort Worth
At Westfall Sellers, our bank fraud attorneys have decades of experience helping clients navigate the complex litigation of white-collar crimes. We have a track record of successfully defending our clients from the types of strategies used by prosecutors to undermine their case.
If you’ve been accused of bank fraud, the time to act is now. Our Dallas/Fort Worth fraud defense team will work closely with you to either resolve fraud allegations quietly or, if necessary, advocate for you in court.
From executives and business owners to loan officers, we are ready to provide our clients with the vigorous and thorough representation they need. After all, you only get one shot at this. To request a free consultation, call us at 817-928-4222 or contact us online today.
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