New York Federal Government Program Fraud Lawyer

Defrauding the government via a federal program is a serious offense. Federal government program fraud offenses are almost entirely felonies. If you face charges for defrauding a federal government program, speak to a New York federal government program fraud lawyer. A determined federal criminal defense attorney can devote the time and resources necessary, in order to build you a solid defense.

Statutes That Target Government Program Fraud

A federal government program fraud is always heard in federal court. There are a number of statutes that target these crimes. The first is 18 USC 641 which prohibits specific acts involving stolen or embezzled government funds.

There is 18 USC 643 which prohibits agents or employees of the United States from receiving, improper money from these programs. There is the 18 USC 644 which, again, prohibits individuals from receiving public monies inappropriately and the same for 18 USC 648 and 649. Most of these have ten-year caps as far as the sentences are concerned. These cases are all heard in federal court.

Deciding If a Fraud Case is State or Federal in Nature

In order to bring a federal case, there has to be a federal statute and a jurisdictional hook so there needs to be some federal government as part of this. Typically in these cases, it would be that the federal government is the victim. Fraud against a state government program could result in a case being brought in state court. 

The differences in how federal and state cases are handled depend almost entirely on loss amount as how serious these cases are treated by prosecutors and judges. That is the main issue. The second would be the existence of any human victims.

If it is a federal case, then it is the role of the FBI to investigate the fraud. The government may use subpoenas, undercover witnesses, wiretaps and may recover emails and other documents as evidence when investigating government fraud.

What an Attorney Looks at When Building a Case

As with any federal case, the first thing to do is figure out exactly what the nature of the allegations is against the defendant and then the specific evidence that supports those allegations. It is not just handed to defense attorneys; defense attorneys need to figure it out.

Usually, it is best for a New York federal government program fraud lawyer to ask a defendant what could be said about them. It is not asking them what happened here but what could other people be saying that could cause these allegations to come to light.

Common Questions Potential Clients Ask

One of the questions that people facing these charges ask New York federal government program fraud lawyers is how much prison time they are looking at. Typically for these cases, they are looking at a maximum of ten years but it depends. It can be more or less depending on the nature of the allegations. There is a very large swathe as far as sentences are concerned that can be very low if there is a lot of mitigating factors and not a lot of aggravating factors and they can be much higher if the opposite is true.

Answering Potential Client Questions

If the question is concerning how much prison time they are looking at, a New York federal government program fraud lawyer will look at the United States Sentencing Guidelines and see what the guidelines would be, but typically, they have to go with other sentences they are aware of, or those based on their knowledge and experience as a lawyer.

Penalties Associated With Committing Fraud Via a Government Program

Most New York fraud offenses are punishable by a maximum sentence up to ten years' imprisonment. A number of statutes punish either the embezzlement of public funds or any other type of federal government program fraud. There is 18 USC 641, 18 USC 643, 18 USC 644, 648 and 649, and each of those are punishable by a maximum of ten years' imprisonment. A New York federal government program fraud lawyer can attempt to mitigate the penalties an individual might face.

Long-Term Implications of a Fraud Conviction

As with any felony conviction, a fraud conviction can result in an individual not only just going to prison but it also can impact the rest of their life going forward. In addition to losing the ability to vote, to possess firearms, the individual will be left with the stigma of a felony conviction and may not be able to hold a professional license. They may not be able to become a member of the bar to be a lawyer, may not be able to become a doctor. Any of those professional organizations may prohibit an individual with a felony conviction, especially one related to fraud, from practicing.  If you face federal government fraud charges, contact a New York federal government program fraud lawyer that can fight for a positive outcome for you.