Federal bank fraud cases under 18 U.S. Code § 1344 can take many different forms, but typically, the common denominators will be there's a bank involved that has to do with the federal government. There's large sums of money being lost. There's usually an element of sophistication involved and that's going to trigger the feds getting involved.
Anything having to do with banks and banks losing money, federal bank robberies — the FBI is typically investigating it. That triggers federal investigation. That's really under their umbrella because most banks are federally insured. So, anybody doing any type of fraudulent or fishy activities that impacts a bank you can expect that the federal government is at least going to look into it. A lot of times if it's small enough, they'll just pass it over to the state authority that has jurisdiction over it. But, if it's significant and has to do with bank robbery, the feds are typically going to get involved in these cases.
Bank fraud usually is something where a bank is losing money. The government has to pay for that loss. If people are taking advantage of a bank in some form or another, you can expect that the federal authorities will become involved and typically what I do is get you in, we sit down and we go over the whole story related to what you know about the bank fraud issue and then we make the decision whether it's something that we're going to negotiate a plea with or whether it's something we're going to fight because the federal government just simply doesn't have the evidence necessary in order to prove the case against you.
Developing a Solid Defense Strategy
A lot of times they only have part of the story and getting your version of events across can assist you in a number of different ways depending on the circumstances of the bank fraud allegation. Sometimes they don't have the full story. Sometimes somebody else might be involved.
Sometimes you don' t have the knowledge element necessary in order to get you for bank fraud at the federal level. So, these cases in my opinion, should be dealt with on a case-by-case basis where you and your attorney sit down, talk about everything and start from the beginning to get the strategy down as to exactly how your federal bank fraud case is going to be handled.
The second piece of the puzzle is you're going to need to see the government's investigation — what evidence do they have? Is there wire tap evidence? Is there videotape evidence? Is there surveillance that's been done? Are there witnesses involved? There's a whole host of different pieces of evidence that the government could have in a federal bank fraud case.
Once your story is discussed with you attorney, once the other sides information is provided — your attorney goes over it, you go over it — and then you both sit down and talk about it and you can make some hard decisions on exactly how to direct the defense of a federal bank fraud case.
Make the decisions that are right for you and get you in the best possible position to avoid a lengthy federal sentence and so you can get out of the federal criminal justice system as fast as possible and end up with a result that you can live with based on the circumstances and facts surrounding your federal bank fraud case.