There are a number of different types of offenses that fall under the general category of check fraud. However, whether a person is convicted of bank check fraud or a check deposit scam, the results can be devastating and include both jail time and hefty fines. If you are being investigated for or have been charged with a check fraud offense, it is important to speak with an experienced federal crimes attorney who can help you formulate a solid defense.
Types of Check Fraud
Check fraud offenses range in scope and severity. There are, however, a few types of check fraud claims that are prosecuted more often than others, including:
- Bank check fraud, which occurs when a person orders or signs checks for a closed account;
- Fake check fraud, which involves the fabrication of checks using computer software, and in some cases, solvents and chemicals to modify a person’s information on a valid check;
- Check washing, which occurs when someone erases another person’s information from a check;
- Payroll check scams, wherein a fake payroll check is created or a real one is altered;
- Check cashing fraud, which occurs when someone cashes tax refunds when they have knowledge that the checks were obtained as a result of identity theft or if they know that the checks are invalid;
- Check kiting fraud, which involves opening accounts at multiple financial institutions, writing checks from one account to the other, and then using the time after the check is cashed and before the money is deducted to make it look like there is money in the account; and
- Electronic check fraud, which often involves gaining online access to a bank account and using the account information to create counterfeit checks.
The severity of a punishment for check fraud depends on the specific offense. For instance, if a person used a computer or the internet to perpetrate the fraud, he or she can be charged with wire fraud or computer fraud, both of which can result in decades long prison sentences. Federal law also specifically criminalizes knowingly participating in a scheme designed to obtain assets from a financial institution. A recent court decision clarified that any fraud scheme that is intended to obtain funds from a bank could justify a charge of federal bank fraud as long as the false statements were transmitted to a financial institution. This means that most check fraud offenses can be prosecuted in federal court. If convicted of federal check fraud, a person could face up to 30 years in prison, be required to pay thousands of dollars worth of fines, pay restitution to any victims, and serve a term of probation.
Contact us Today to Speak With an Experienced Federal Crimes Attorney
If you live in south Florida and are being investigated for check fraud, please call the legal team of Jeffrey S. Weiner, P.A. at 305-670-9919 to speak with a dedicated federal crimes attorney who is well-versed in both state and federal law. We are eager to assist you with your case.