Financial Fraud Lawyer
Our Financial Fraud Lawyers Represent Clients in FBI Investigations and Other Federal Criminal Matters
Facing allegations of financial fraud can lead to serious consequences. Along with the risk of civil litigation, these allegations can also present risks for criminal prosecution—including prosecution at the federal level. Charges under the federal bank fraud statute and other relevant laws carry substantial fines and years or decades of imprisonment, and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) aggressively prosecutes cases involving consumer and investor harm.
Individuals accused of defrauding financial institutions, the federal government, and other entities can face swift prosecution as well. At Oberheiden P.C., we defend individual and corporate clients facing investigations, grand jury indictments, and federal criminal trials. If you need a financial fraud lawyer, we can help, but it is important that you contact us as soon as possible.
Experienced Federal Defense Counsel for High-Stakes Financial Fraud Cases
Financial fraud is broadly defined at the federal level. Rather than constituting a discrete federal offense, “financial fraud” covers multiple federal offenses that cause financial harm to individuals, businesses, banks, and government entities. For example, one U.S. Attorney’s Office lists the following as forms of financial fraud:
- Advance fee schemes
- Bank fraud
- Credit card and check fraud
- Health care and insurance fraud
- Identify theft
- Internet fraud
- Mail fraud
- Telemarketing fraud
- Pension and trust fund fraud
- Pyramid or Ponzi schemes
- Securities and commodities fraud
Mortgage fraud, insurance fraud, accounting fraud, tax fraud, money laundering, wire fraud, and other forms of fraud fall under the umbrella of financial fraud as well. We handle all of these types of cases; and, in doing so, we rely not only on experience as federal defense counsel, but also on prior experience as prosecutors with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). Our team includes former Special Agents with the FBI, DOJ, and other federal law enforcement agencies as well, and these former Special Agents’ insights prove invaluable in many cases.
Examples of Potential Charges (and Penalties) in Federal Financial Fraud Cases
These types of allegations (among others) can lead to various federal charges. Some examples of common charges in federal financial fraud cases include:
Aggravated Identity Theft
Using someone else’s identity to perpetrate financial fraud can be prosecuted as aggravated identity theft under 18 U.S.C. Section 1028A. This is a federal felony that carries statutory fines and up to two years of federal imprisonment.
Financial fraud committed against banks, mortgage lenders, and other financial institutions can be prosecuted as bank fraud under 18 U.S.C. Section 1344. Federal bank fraud charges carry up to a $1 million fine and 30 years of federal imprisonment.
Defrauding the federal government is a serious criminal offense. Financial fraud under government contracts and government programs can trigger charges under 18 U.S.C. Section 1031 that carry up to $10 million in fines and 10 years of federal imprisonment.
Mail Fraud and Wire Fraud
Due to the breadth of the federal mail fraud and wire fraud statutes (18 U.S.C. Sections 1341 and 1343), these statutes will be implicated in nearly all federal financial fraud cases. Both of these statutes impose fines of up to $1 million and up to 30 years of federal imprisonment.
The federal money laundering statute’s breadth also allows for criminal prosecution in a wide range of cases. Even individuals who are only tangentially involved in alleged financial fraud schemes can potentially face charges carrying statutory fines and up to 20 years of federal imprisonment under 18 U.S.C. Section 1956.
Insider trading, accounting fraud, broker fraud, and other forms of securities fraud can trigger charges under multiple federal statutes. Under Section 10b of the Securities Exchange Act, for example, targets accused of this form of financial fraud can face fines of up to $25 million and up to 25 years of federal imprisonment.
Many federal financial fraud investigations will lead to tax fraud charges as well. Under 26 U.S.C. Section 7201, federal tax fraud can lead to fines of up to $100,000 for individuals ($500,000 for businesses) and up to five years of federal imprisonment.
Again, these are just examples. Federal financial fraud investigations can lead to several other federal charges as well, all of which carry penalties that are comparable to those listed above. When facing financial fraud allegations, it is imperative to have a clear understanding of the specific charges at issue—and to formulate a strategic defense focused on the specific factual and legal issues at hand.
Defending Against Federal Financial Fraud Allegations
We take a strategic, multi-faceted, and multi-stage approach to defending clients against financial fraud allegations. Depending on the current status of your case, when you engage a financial fraud lawyer at Oberheiden P.C., your lawyer may take steps including:
- Intervening in the Government’s Investigation – If you are under investigation for financial fraud, your lawyer will intervene in the government’s investigation to slow the process and allow time for executing a strategic defense. We handle financial fraud investigations conducted by the FBI, DOJ, and all other federal agencies.
- Responding to Search Warrants and Subpoenas – Responding to a search warrant or subpoena presents several risks, and mistakes during the process can significantly limit the defense options that targets have available. We represent our clients during the response process, communicating with investigating agents on our clients’ behalf and challenging the government’s investigative efforts in court when necessary.
- Fending Off a Grand Jury Indictment – If you are not yet facing charges, fending off a grand jury indictment should be your top priority. Your financial fraud lawyer at Oberheiden P.C. will work to resolve your financial fraud investigation without charges being filed.
- Leveraging Pre–Trial Process to Secure a Plea Bargain or Dismissal – Even if it is too late to avoid charges, it may not be too late to avoid trial. Your lawyer will thoroughly assess all options for negotiating a plea bargain or having your financial fraud charges dismissed before trial.
- Defending Against Financial Fraud Charges in Federal District Court – Finally, if negotiating a plea bargain is not in your best interests and trial is unavoidable, your lawyer will represent you in court. All of our senior financial fraud lawyers have extensive federal trial experience, and we will use this experience to defend you by all means available.
FAQs: Defending Against Federal Allegations of Financial Fraud
What federal agencies investigate financial fraud?
Several federal agencies investigate financial fraud. These include the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), among others. In many cases multiple federal agencies work together to investigate targets and build comprehensive cases for criminal prosecution.
How does the federal government identify targets for financial fraud investigations?
The federal government identifies targets for financial fraud investigations through various means. While it relies heavily on whistleblowers, it also initiates investigations on its own accord based on review of companies’ public filings and taxpayers’ returns, analysis of financial data and trends, review of contractors’ and health care providers’ billing records, and other means of identification. When facing a financial fraud investigation, determining what triggered the investigation is a key early step toward formulating a strategic defense.
How often do allegations of financial fraud lead to criminal prosecution?
While it’s difficult to say exactly how often financial fraud investigations lead to criminal charges, it is clear that federal prosecutors do not hesitate to pursue charges when they believe charges are warranted. The DOJ regularly issues press releases announcing charges, convictions, and sentences in federal financial fraud cases.
What are the criminal penalties for financial fraud?
At the federal level, the criminal penalties for financial fraud include fines and prison time. Depending on the specific charges that prosecutors choose to file, targets can face anywhere from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars in fines and years to decades of federal imprisonment. If the DOJ files multiple charges and/or multiple counts (as is often the case), both individual and corporate targets can face crippling financial liability, and individual targets can face an effective life sentence.
What should I do if I am under investigation for financial fraud?
If you are under investigation for financial fraud, your next step is to discuss your case with a lawyer—and you need to choose a lawyer who has specific experience in the area of federal financial fraud defense. These are unique cases that present unique risks, challenges, and opportunities; and, to protect yourself while leveraging the opportunities you have available, you need an experienced lawyer on your side.
Speak with a Financial Fraud Lawyer at Oberheiden P.C.
Are you under investigation for financial fraud? If so, we encourage you to contact us promptly to discuss your defense. We have extensive experience defending clients against charges for financial fraud and other federal white-collar crimes. To arrange a free and confidential consultation with a senior financial fraud lawyer at Oberheiden P.C., please call 888-680-1745 or tell us how we can reach you online now.