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16 Aug

Lucy Taylor

Legal Expert

Bank fraud is a criminal offence. It involves illegally obtaining money or other assets owned by a financial institution or posing as a bank or financial institution for your own ends. In recent years this definition has expanded to refer to internet banking fraud, where malware or phishing strategies give cyber-attackers access to a person’s banking details.

Those who are convicted of bank fraud could serve a prison term and are usually asked to repay a lot of money in restitution to the people or institutions who fell victim to their fraud.

Sometimes bank fraud is committed in full knowledge of the severity of the crime. Other times the situation is a little hazier, as in the unique case of Luke Brett Moore who was able to withdraw $2.1million over 50 transactions owing to a bank error. In yet more instances, an individual is wrongly accused of bank fraud and will have to fight to prove their innocence.

Whatever your situation, being accused of bank fraud is a serious issue and one that you need to deal with very carefully and promptly. Prosecutors can ask for your funds to be frozen, which could cripple your business or your home life. Bad news also travels quickly so your reputation within the local community and, if you’re a company, with your customers could plummet rapidly.

Acting quickly is of the utmost importance. Here are the five essential things you should do if you are accused of bank fraud.

  1. Call a Lawyer

The legal system is complex and difficult to understand without years of training. Get a lawyer, like those at LY Lawyers, on side right away. Your lawyer may be able to challenge search warrants or raids and prevent your assets from being frozen so the sooner you have someone assigned to your case, the better. Your lawyer will then be able to help you contest the accusation and build a case for your defence.

  1. Don’t Talk to the Police or Prosecutors Without Your Lawyer

As everything you say to the police or prosecutors can be used as evidence, you should have a lawyer with you before you speak to anyone. You may unwittingly say something incriminating which can then be used at a trial. A lawyer will help you to answer tactfully and avoid giving any evidence that could further fuel accusations. They will also be able to advise you on the questions that you don’t have to answer at all.

  1. Gather Your Documents

You’ll need to gather all of your financial documents to prove your innocence. Your lawyer will be able to help you by telling you which documents are needed. From this evidence they will be able to construct your defence.

  1. Be Proactive and Involved in Your Defence

Take regular meetings with your legal team, educate yourself about the legal system with regards to bank fraud and keep up-to-date with any developments. Defendants who are informed and involved stand the best chance of overturning an accusation.

  1. Stay Calm

This is easier said than done but staying calm and acting rationally are both essential when you’re accused of bank fraud. You need to keep a cool head and make calling a lawyer your first priority. From that point on, whether your case goes to trial or not, an outward appearance of calm self-assurance can only do good for your reputation and your case.

Being accused of bank fraud is likely to be a serious shock and cause for grave concern. The best thing you can do is call a lawyer. They are the people best placed to overturn an accusation and get your life back to normal.  

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