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Boca Raton Federal Defense Lawyer

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Being accused of a federal crime can instantly change your life. Most federal offenses are punishable by hefty fines and lengthy prison sentences. Federal judges and prosecutors tend to be among the most experienced and accomplished professionals in the legal industry. To give yourself the best chance at beating your case, you need to hire a Boca Raton criminal defense lawyer who specializes in federal cases. David Joffe represents people who are under investigation for federal crimes as well as defendants who have been formally charged. Our Boca Raton federal criminal defense lawyers have the experience and expertise you need on your side if you are facing a federal charge.

Boca Raton federal crimes lawyer

Many criminal offenses can be prosecuted in state and federal court. A state criminal offense becomes a matter of federal jurisdiction if:

  • the illegal activity occurred in two or more states
  • the illegal activity occurred across an international border
  • the illegal activity occurred on federal land
  • the illegal activity involved a federal government official

When a case becomes a federal court matter, the case will be prosecuted by a lawyer from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The related court proceedings will take place in a federal district court. A federal judge will preside over the case. Our Boca Raton criminal defense lawyer has a thorough understanding of the federal court system and can provide high-quality legal representation in high-stakes federal cases.

Lawyer for federal white collar criminal offenses

The term “white collar crime” references criminal offenses that are mostly committed by business, government and finance professionals who presumably wear collared shirts to work. White collar offenses are generally non-violent and motivated by financial gain. Examples of white collar crimes include:

  • fraud
  • Ponzi schemes
  • bribery
  • embezzlement
  • money laundering
  • racketeering

We represent defendants in a variety of white collar criminal cases. If you believe you may have been involved in a white collar crimes case, it’s never too early to consult a criminal defense attorney. Contacting a white collar crime attorney before a federal prosecutor formally announces a criminal charge can help you protect your reputation and avoid potential constitutional rights violations when communicating with law enforcement.

Just Arrested in Boca Raton?
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Boca Raton fraud cases

Fraud is a catchall term for criminal acts that involve deceiving another person or a business for property or financial gain. There are several different types of federal fraud offenses. Keep reading to learn more about fraud charges we often see.

Bank fraud

Bank fraud refers to any type of criminal deception that involves a financial institution. Criminals are always inventing new fraudulent schemes that affect banking institutions and their customers. Some of the most common types of bank fraud are:

  • ATM fraud
  • phishing
  • identity theft
  • cashier’s check fraud
  • unauthorized transactions
  • credit card fraud

Defendants who face federal bank fraud charges may be sentenced to up to 30 years in prison per count if convicted. In some cases, people who had nothing to do with a fraudulent scheme may be investigated by law enforcement. For example, members of identity theft and credit card fraud rings sometimes use the victim’s personal information to open bank accounts and credit cards. The criminals may give some of the illegal proceeds to a friend, family member, or associate or allow someone to use a stolen credit card. A law enforcement agency may assume the person who uses the credit card or receives money from the fraudster is a willing participant in the crime. 

Mortgage fraud

Any material misrepresentation made during the mortgage loan process can be charged as mortgage fraud. Mortgage fraud cases are classified into two main categories: fraud for profit and fraud for housing. The perpetrators and the victims are different in each category.

Fraud for profit is mainly committed by mortgage industry insiders. These insiders may be:

  • real estate brokers and agents
  • property appraisers
  • mortgage loan officers

One example of fraud for profit is appraisal fraud. Mortgage industry insiders engage in appraisal fraud by artificially inflating the value of a property and pocketing the excess profit when a buyer purchases the property at the inflated price.

Another form of fraud for profit is the air loan scheme, which is a fictitious transaction that illegally benefits mortgage brokers. Air loans are fake lending agreements created by fraudulent mortgage brokers. The broker creates the agreement for a non-existent property with a fake buyer and receives a profit when the fraudulent loan transaction is complete. When the loan eventually goes into default because there is no actual buyer to make payments, the bank discovers it has no property to hold as collateral.

In fraud for housing schemes, the goal is to illegally obtain a residential property. The simplest forms of fraud for housing involve fraudsters providing false information on a mortgage application. Common misrepresentations include:

  • using a fake name
  • misrepresenting income
  • misrepresenting assets
  • misrepresenting intended use for the property

Lenders generally give better rates on mortgages if the applicant intends to reside on the property. Occupancy fraud occurs when a buyer misstates his or her intended purpose for purchasing a home is to use the property as a primary residence. Instead of residing in the home full-time, the buyer will use the property as a second home or investment property.

Similarly, investors engage in mortgage fraud when they use a straw buyer to apply for a mortgage. The straw buyer scheme involves an investor having someone else apply for a loan to buy a residential home. The buyer misrepresents the intent to purchase the property for the purpose of being used as a personal residence. After the applicant closes on the home, he or she will transfer the property to an investor via a quit claim deed.

Insurance fraud

Similar to mortgage fraud, there are several different types of insurance fraud. In some instances, insurance professionals may find themselves facing criminal charges while in others the policyholder may be charged for fraud.

Most people have heard of insurance policyholders filing false insurance claims. A false claim may involve a staged accident such as a vehicle collision or a fire. False claims may also be based on incidents that never happened or property the claimant never owned. For example, in a false claim, a policyholder may claim a fictitious burglary took place or a non-existent high-value item like computer equipment was damaged or stolen.

A common scheme committed by insurance professionals involves diverting customer premiums. Insurance agents are responsible for collecting payments from policyholders and submitting the payment to the insurance company. A fraudulent agent will transfer the payments into a personal account and never pay the customers’ premiums. The customers generally have no way of knowing about the fraud until the insurance company sends a notice regarding non-payment or the policy lapses.

Other forms of insurance fraud involve sales people or people who are fraudulently posing as insurance sales professionals. Fraudulent sales people commit crimes against consumers by selling fake insurance policies. The policy itself may appear to be offered by a reputable insurance company that does not actually sell that type of policy. In other cases, the policy may appear to be a legitimate insurance product, but the company that appears to offer the policy may be fake. In either case, the sales person is selling fraudulent insurance and taking unsuspecting consumers’ money.

Ponzi schemes in Florida

Ponzi schemes are investment scams that appear to deliver higher-than-average returns in the beginning. However, people who invest in the scheme later typically lose their money to the fraudulent investor. These schemes are always pitched as an investment opportunity that promises low risk and an unusually high rate of return. They are advertised by word-of-mouth as better alternatives to keeping money in the bank or using other traditional investment products. Ponzi scheme scammers often aim to convince potential victims that the scheme is the greatest kept secret in finance; therefore, a potential victim can’t expect to see the scam advertised to the general public.

Similar to pyramid schemes, Ponzi schemes use the money from new investors to create the appearance of the investment generating returns for earlier investors. Early investors are encouraged to recruit new investors to keep the scheme in operation. Because the early investors believe their returns have come from an actual investment, they are able to give testimonials to convince new people to invest in the scheme. In most cases, the scammer diverts most of the investors’ money from the beginning. Instead of using the money to make transactions on the investors’ behalf, the scammer is usually funding his or her own lifestyle. 

Federal bribery charges

Most people understand the concept of bribery. When bribery involves a government worker or public official, bribery may be a serious federal crime. In federal bribery and public corruption cases, officials who solicit bribes and parties that offer a bribe may be prosecuted. Federal law prohibits the offering of money or an item of value in exchange for an official action.

In some bribery cases, the official and the party that gave the official an item of value may have a relationship that supports the argument that the item was not a bribe. For example, if a business owner has a 20-year friendship with a federal judge, it may appear that bribery has occurred if they two parties exchange Christmas gifts prior to the business owner winning a federal case. However, a federal defense attorney may introduce evidence of the parties exchanging Christmas gifts of similar value every year. The attorney may also introduce evidence that shows the business owner appeared to be likely to win the case long before exchanging Christmas gifts.

Embezzlement cases

The concept of embezzlement is as simple as a worker stealing money or merchandise from his or her place of employment. Embezzlement is formally defined as the act of taking entrusted property for personal use while depriving the owner of ownership. Federal embezzlement cases involve one or more of the following:

  • a government agency
  • a government employee
  • another country
  • a financial institution

The existence of a relationship of trust differentiates embezzlement from a general theft offense. To prove a federal embezzlement charge, the prosecution must establish the following:

  • the defendant and the government agency or private organization had a fiduciary relationship
  • the defendant received the property as a result of his or her role in the fiduciary relationship
  • the defendant fraudulently stole or appropriated the property for his or her own personal use
  • the defendant’s motivation behind the fraudulent action was to deprive the property owner of use of the property

One approach a Boca Raton federal defense attorney may use to disprove an embezzlement charge by establishing that the defendant lacked the intent to deprive the property owner of use of the property. For example, an employee who takes a government vehicle home overnight without authorization has not embezzled the property if the employee voluntarily returned the vehicle back to work the next morning.

Money laundering

Criminal organizations use money laundering to make it easier to evade detection while enjoying the proceeds of their illegal activity. The money laundering process takes place in multiple stages with each stage serving to further distance the proceeds from their illegal origin. Often, money launderers solicit friends, family members, associates, members of immigrant communities, and small businesses to help “wash”  illegally-obtained money and property. If you believe you may have participated in money laundering, contact a defense attorney. Law enforcement officials may contact you in the course of investigating the criminal organization. A Boca Raton federal defense attorney may be able to help you avoid criminal charges and protect your reputation.

Federal racketeering charges

Federal racketeering cases often involve sensational stories that occupy media headlines across the country. Congress originally passed the federal Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act of 1970 to prosecute organized crime rings. Federal prosecutors prove racketeering by establishing the existence of a criminal enterprise that engages in a series of related crimes with the goal of profiting from the illegal activity.

Federal appeals

Defendants who may have lost their case at trial may have more options for receiving justice. In addition to representing defendants during the pre-trial and trial stages of the federal criminal process, we also provide post-conviction representation. Our Boca Raton federal appeals lawyer can determine whether it would be in your best interest to file a federal appeal. In addition to the appeals process, we may also be able to recommend other options for post-conviction relief.

If you have been accused of a federal crime, you need an attorney who can take on the federal court system. The professionals at Joffe Law want to hear more about your case. Contact us to learn more about our proven track record in federal criminal defense and to receive a case evaluation.

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Serious federal cases only.

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AVAILABLE 24x7
Serious federal cases only.

AVAILABLE 24x7
Serious federal cases only.

AVAILABLE 24x7
Serious federal cases only.

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Serious federal cases only.

AVAILABLE 24x7
Serious federal cases only.

AVAILABLE 24x7
Serious federal cases only.

AVAILABLE 24x7
Serious federal cases only.

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Serious federal cases only.

AVAILABLE 24x7
Serious federal cases only.

AVAILABLE 24x7
Serious federal cases only.

AVAILABLE 24x7
Serious federal cases only.

AVAILABLE 24x7
Serious federal cases only.

AVAILABLE 24x7
Serious federal cases only.