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Bank Fraud

Bank Fraud

Technology has revolutionized the business world. It has been enabled with features like online payments and transfers without any physical movement of money. Businesses have wholeheartedly embraced technology in order to remain competitive but as they have enjoyed its benefits, they have also encountered challenges.

One such challenge is bank fraud. Federal law generally defines bank fraud as a scheme or artifice to defraud a bank. This means seeking to obtain money from a bank using false pretenses. Bank fraud falls into four major categories;

1) Credit card and debit card fraud
This is a form of bank fraud where credit and debit cards are used to purchase goods and make withdrawals. This is done while knowing that one cannot repay the amount borrowed and if they can, without any intention of repaying. This is done with cards that are stolen or by skimming credit card information to make false statements on credit card applications.

2) Check fraud
For the most part, technology is for financial transactions but checks are still in use. Fraudsters may commit check fraud by forging signatures on stolen checks, creating fake checks, altering amounts on valid checks and kiting which is withdrawing funds on a check that has been deposited before the check clears.

3) Internet fraud
This involves hacking into computer systems to siphon accounts out of bank accounts, online accounts, and credit cards and debit cards. Those convicted of online bank fraud often face multiple charges under state and federal laws.

4) Identify theft
The above forms of fraud all involve identity theft. However, bank fraud can be committed all with the intention of stealing an identity. Cases of identity theft can be charged in court as bank fraud include using a fake identity document, using forged documents in a bank, using another person’s checks or credit cards and using another person’s information to create an online account or gain access to it.

Mail fraud and wire fraud
If federal charges of bank fraud are brought against you, then you could also face additional charges. This would be wire fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud or even both of these charges. These crimes have definitions that are broad as those of bank charges. Prosecutors, therefore, bring them up to get maximum punishment for bank fraud.

Smart defense
If you are convicted of bank fraud, you could be looking at fines of up to $1 million and 30 years behind bars in a federal facility. You need the smartest defense you can get and that you will get from Lydon Law Firm. Here, a skilled and experienced South Carolina White Collar Crimes lawyer will look at the facts of your case and build a strong defense for you.

Lydon Law Firm has made a name in the state for successfully defending those facing federal and state bank fraud charges. A South Carolina White Collar Crimes lawyer from this respected firm is your best chances in building a tight defense for you. Contact us so we can get on it right away.

 

 

 

whistleblower A qui tam case enables a whistleblower to assist the government in combating fraud. There are many types of fraud that impact the U.S. government financially. These include defense contractor fraud and Medicare and Medicaid fraud. Whistleblowers help the government recover billions stolen from taxpayers and the U.S. treasury through these cases. Read on to learn more about what a qui tam case is, the process involved, how Lydon Law Firm can defend your case and persons allowed to make these claims.

What is a Qui Tam Law Suit?

A qui tam lawsuit is also called a False Claims Suit or Whistleblower suit. The False Claims Act provides that anyone who consciously submits or is the cause of the submission of a fraudulent or false claim to the U.S. is liable to pay triple damages plus a penalty of up to $11,000. The Statute was first enacted in 1863 and includes a legal device known as the “qui tam” provision. Qui tam is a Latin phrase that means an individual who presents a claim on behalf of the King and on behalf of himself/herself. The qui tam provision enables a private individual, also called a relator or whistleblower, to file a claim on behalf of the government, where the individual possesses information implicating the named defendant of knowingly submitting or causing the submission of fraudulent or false claims to the government.

The Process Involved in a Qui Tam Law Suit

According to the law, the complaint must be kept under seal for a certain time, meaning that all the records affecting the case are private. The only institutions and individuals that are allowed access to the complaint are the local U.S. Attorney, the U.S. Justice Department, and the District Court judge handling the case. However, the court may avail the complaint to other person upon a motion by the U.S. Attorney.

According to the False Claims Act, the complaint together with all other information regarding the case should be kept under seal for sixty days. After sixty days, the Justice Department must file a motion for an extension with the District judge. The motion must show reasonable cause for the details of the case to be kept under seal.

The whistleblower’s attorney provides information to the government in an effort to convince the government to take the case. The statement contains evidence regarding the allegations provided in the complaint. The Act provides that an attorney of the Justice Department or the AG (Attorney General) is required to investigate the allegations with the help of law enforcement.

After the investigation is finalized, the Justice Department has to choose a cause of action from three options provided by the False Claims Act:

1) Intervene in the qui tam action. An intervention implies that the government is willing to act as a plaintiff in prosecuting the defendant.

2) Decline to get involved in prosecuting the defendant. In such cases, the relator’s attorney may still prosecute the case on behalf of the government. Many qui tam claims involve the whistleblower’s attorney prosecuting the defendant on behalf of the United States government.

3) Dismiss the whistleblower’s claim either because the case contravenes certain policy or statutory interests of the U.S. or because there are insufficient grounds for a case.

Another common option in qui tam actions involves a settlement agreement. The Justice Department settles the case with the accused before the intervention decision.

When the Justice Department’s intervention is approved, it will file a motion to unseal the complaint. The Department of Justice does not necessarily agree with all the allegations set forth by the relator. In many cases, the DOJ files its own complaint within 60 days of the complaint presenting its own statement of facts. Furthermore, DOJ can assert additional claims against the defendant under other statutes such as the Anti-Kickback Act. Relators cannot file claims based on other statutes since the False Claims Act only accommodates them.

How an Attorney Can Help in a Qui-Tam Case

There is a huge volume of qui tam cases filed with the DOJ in any given year. Qui tam claims have a limited number of DOJ lawyers looking into them, therefore, only the cases that are properly backed with strong proof stand a chance of being joined by the government. If you learn that you are the subject of a qui tam suit, you should seek counsel in order to present a vigorous defense. Again, the potential financial consequences are significant.

Who is Eligible to File a Qui Tam Action?

According to the False Claims Act, a qui tam claim can be brought by:

  • An employee or former employee against their employer- in many cases former employees are suspended or forced to leave their jobs for attempting to blow the whistle internally
  • A federal employee-These claims raise concerns of whether the whistleblower has a conflict of interest or whether a federal employee should present the claim to their employer instead of suing their employer
  • A competitor of the company being charged
  • Companies or individuals who subcontract with a U.S. government contractor