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What is Bank Fraud?

In Bank Fraud, Fraud, Popular Posts, White Collar by Jason Freeman and Alex AillsLeave a Comment

18 U.S.C. § 1344 is commonly referred to as the bank fraud statute. It is used by the Department of Justice to prosecute “any scheme to defraud” a federal bank.[1]The scope of the phrase “any scheme” is broad; it has, for example, been used to prosecute check forging, check kiting, and embezzlement, among other things.  Making misrepresentations to a bank – …

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The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA)

In Computer Crimes, White Collar by Jason FreemanLeave a Comment

The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) criminalizes, among other things, the act of intentionally accessing a computer without authorization.  The CFAA, which is codified at 18 U.S.C. 1030, was originally enacted by Congress in 1986 to combat various forms of “computer crime.”  At that time, this was largely understood to cover “hacking or trespassing into computer systems or data.”  The …

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IRS Required to Return FBAR “Penalty:” Penalty was “Illegally Exacted”

In Bank Secrecy Act, FBAR, White Collar, Willfulness by Jason FreemanLeave a Comment

The much-anticipated decision in Bedrosian v. United States was released on Wednesday of this week, and it did not fail to disappoint—unless, of course, you find yourself on the latter side of the “v” in the case caption.  The case presented a fundamental FBAR issue: was Bedrosian’s failure to report his foreign account “willful?”  If it was, he would have …

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Federal Asset Forfeiture

In Forfeiture, White Collar by Jason FreemanLeave a Comment

In the past decade, government forfeitures through the Department of Justice’s Asset Forfeiture Program have ballooned to over $28 billion.  The DOJ, which has authority to seize property associated with violations of federal law through a process known as asset forfeiture, views forfeiture as an important law enforcement tool.  However, particularly because law enforcement officers generally have the authority to …

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How the FBAR’s “Willfulness” Element Has Recently Evolved

In FBAR, White Collar, Willfulness by freemanlawdevLeave a Comment

The FBAR (FinCEN Form 114) requires United States persons to report any foreign financial accounts in which the person has signatory authority or a financial interest if the total value of such accounts exceeds $10,000.[1] In 2004, the IRS obtained the ability to impose non-willful civil penalties against those persons that fail to report such foreign accounts. Prior to that, …

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A Focus on Healthcare Fraud

In Fraud, White Collar by Jason Freeman2 Comments

Federal prosecutors recently announced the conviction of the former office manager of a home health care company for conspiring to commit Medicare fraud.  The case, which was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, demonstrates the way that federal government agencies coordinate through investigative partnerships to prosecute health care fraud.  The defendant in the case, the manager of …

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Cyber Crimes: Guilty Pleas in a Large-Scale International Online Fraud Conspiracy

In Computer Crimes, White Collar by Jason FreemanLeave a Comment

Several Nigerian nationals pleaded guilty this past week to charges that they conspired to commit mail and wire fraud, as well as to commit identity theft, access device fraud and theft of government funds.  The charges arose out of numerous internet-based financial fraud schemes uncovered as part of DOJ’s ongoing initiative/effort to combat transnational organized crime.  The case demonstrates the …

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Couple Sentenced to Prison for Bank Fraud and Failure to Report Income Earned From Internet Sales through eBay and Amazon

In Bank Fraud, Computer Crimes, White Collar by Jason FreemanLeave a Comment

On Friday, a North Carolina federal district court sentenced Daniel and Renee Balson to 27 months and 16 months, respectively, on tax and bank fraud charges related to their failure to report and disclose income from selling merchandise online, primarily through eBay and Amazon.  A copy of the indictment is available here.  In addition to the prison terms, the couple …

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Litigating FBAR Penalties: The Burden of Proof and the Meaning of Willfulness

In Bank Secrecy Act, Defenses, FBAR, Tax Litigation, White Collar, Willfulness by Jason FreemanLeave a Comment

The recent case of United States v. Bohanec, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170149 (Dec. 8, 2016) provides the latest glimpse into the world of FBAR penalty litigation. Among other things, the case looks at two interesting and important procedural issues: the meaning of willfulness and the burden of proof necessary to prove it. In Bohanec, the government asserted a penalty …