What Constitutes Bank Fraud?

Bank fraud is a term that gets thrown around on a fairly regular basis, but the truth of the matter is that it’s a blanket term for a number of other crimes. That’s why in today’s post, we thought we’d take a look at a few of the things that constitute bank fraud.

And, of course, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention that if you are being investigated for one of the crimes below, the team of experts at the Law Offices of Robert J. DeGroot would be glad to take on your case, tenaciously fighting for your rights in your time of need.

Bank Fraud 101

Check Forgery

Check forgery can encompass a number of more specific crimes such as stealing another person’s checks, printing fake checks, altering checks, and more. At the end of the day, if it has to do with a check, it is considered a form of check forgery which itself is a form of bank fraud.

Fake Loans

There are a number of different fake loans out there, but Wikipedia sums them up quite nicely by stating that fraudulent loans are ones “in which the borrower is a business entity controlled by a dishonest bank officer or an accomplice; the “borrower” then declares bankruptcy or vanishes and the money is gone.”

Wire Fraud

In many instances, the general public only has a vague idea of how a wire transfer actually works. They see them done to offshore accounts in blockbuster movies and they may have had money wired into an escrow account when closing on a home, but uninsured institutions are often a recipe for wire fraud. The aforementioned offshore accounts are seen as good places to stow money people don’t want authorities to see, but it can be a gamble to to deal with offshore banks and they are considered at high risk for fraud.

Money Laundering

That’s right; under certain circumstances, money laundering can also be considered bank fraud. Like many of the other instances mentioned above, people often have a hard time grasping what, exactly, money laundering is. Investopedia sums it up well by saying that it “is the process of creating the appearance that large amounts of money obtained from criminal activity…originated from a legitimate source and that “the money from the illicit activity is considered dirty, and the process ‘launders’ the money to make it look clean.”

Have You Been Accused of Bank Fraud?

If so, finding a criminal defense attorney is in your best interest. At the Law Offices of Robert DeGroot, we have defended countless clients against charges that were leveled at them and we would be glad to join your cause to prove your innocence.

Regardless of the situation at hand, our team of experts will approach your case with care and attention to detail with a goal of securing the outcome you’re looking for. It’s as simple as that. Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation. We look forward to fighting for you.

We Can Help You To Fight Against Bank Fraud Charges

Your day was going about as usual. You woke up, headed to work, grabbed some lunch, powered through your day, and returned home. That’s when you found out that you’re facing bank fraud charges. What are you supposed to do if you find yourself in a situation like this one? Chances are that you felt pretty blindsided, but there are a few things you can do.

Fortunately for you, if you’ve found yourself in a situation like the one we laid out above, the team at the Law Offices of Robert J. DeGroot is here to help. What are you to do, you ask? Keep reading to find out!

Call an Attorney As Soon As You Possibly Can

This is one bit of advice you’ll find on most of our blogs, but we strongly feel that it’s the best advice you’re ever going to get. There are a number of benefits to enlisting the help of an attorney as early on in the process as you are able to. From providing you with advice on what to say to giving you insight on how to approach your situation, a good bank fraud lawyer can help you out every step of the way.

The downturn of the economy has led to an uptick in mortgage and bank fraud accusations being leveled against people and if you’re facing those charges then you need someone by your side who can help.

Schedule a Meeting

After you do a bit of research to find the attorney you’d like to work with, call their office and schedule a meeting. At the Law Offices of Robert J. DeGroot, we offer free initial consultations for all of our clients in order to get a handle for their situation. We think that you deserve to be well-represented and you should have someone on your side who has plenty of experience and that’s exactly what you’ll get when you work with us.

For over forty years, Robert J. DeGroot has defended clients who are facing a number of different type of charges and aggressively fought for their legal rights even in the face of difficulty.

Ask Questions

Your first meeting with your potential lawyer is a great way to get a feel for one another and see if you make for a good match. Be sure to bring any paperwork you have received with you to the meeting and make a list of questions beforehand. It can be difficult to keep track of all of the questions that are likely running through your head during tough times, but keeping a notebook on hand and jotting down any notes or questions can make a big difference.

Of course we will be asking you a few questions as well in order to figure out the best way to represent you and what tactics we need to employ moving forward.

You Can Put Your Trust in Us

No matter what you’re up against, we want you to know that we will go above and beyond to make sure that you get the outcome you’re hoping for in your case. You can count on us to work hard in order to find a solution that works for you. We know that there’s a lot at stake and that there is quite a bit of information to be processed. Fortunately for you, we’re here to help you work through it all. When your best interests are at stake, you deserve to have someone who will aggressively go to bat for you and that’s exactly what you will get when you work with the team at the Law Offices of Robert J. DeGroot.

As we mentioned before, our initial consultations are free, so whether you’re in the beginnings stages of looking for a bank fraud attorney or you’re interviewing your possible choices to see what works best, why not reach out to us? We’d love the opportunity to show you how hard we will work for you. Since 1972, Robert J. DeGroot has been providing aid to those in need of his assistance and he’ll bring all of that experience to the table for your case as well. Schedule a free consultation with our team today!

3 Qualities of a Great Bank Fraud Attorney

Here at the Law Offices of Robert J. DeGroot, we’re proud to say that we’ve assembled a team of experts who can handle any case that comes our way. With over three decades of experience in our industry and a track record of success, we’re well equipped to handle everything from defending you against bank fraud charges to fighting for you against other white collar crimes.

Having so much experience means that we’re also able to identify the qualities that make a bank fraud attorney good at their job. Luckily for our readers, in today’s blog that’s exactly what we’re discussing. Keep reading to learn more!

Your Bank Fraud Attorney Should Be…

Helpful to Clients

The first thing you’ll want to note when you meet the person who might be representing you is how helpful he or she is. How you’re treated on your first visit is very likely how you can expect to be treated throughout the entire process. That means it’s doubly important to be sure about who you hire. After all, you’re hiring someone to help take care of you in your time of need. If they don’t seem to have the time to give you the first time you meet with them, you can expect the be treated poorly down the road as well.

Conversely, if you meet with an attorney who is helpful from the moment you meet him or her, you can rest assured that that person will take great care of you. A good attorney will go above and beyond to make their clients feel secure about their choice, having listened to the situation.

Surrounded by a Good Team

One thing people don’t generally ask about is who is supporting the lawyer in question. Even the best lawyers have to rely on the help of others to keep everything straight and the better the team is, the better that lawyer will be. We’re not necessarily saying that you have to find an attorney who has a massive staff surrounding them, but you should make it a point to ask about the rest of the team.

Ideally you’ll be working with a lawyer whose team has plenty of experience as well. When you find a great lawyer, he or she will be working closely with their team and it will seem like a well-oiled machine. There are a lot of moving parts during any given case and knowing who’s on your side can help to make the situation much easier for you when you know who you can speak to and what each person does. This ensures that you feel like you know who is handling what instead of worrying that no one is focused on the details of your bank fraud case.


Of course all of the helpfulness in the world and having a great team mean nothing if it’s not backed by a track record of success in the business. Having experience is key, so when your future is on the line, it’s absolutely in your best interest to ask the lawyer you’re considering about what he or she has done recently. Think of it this way–you’re conducting an interview of your lawyer and you want to know what he or she is capable of when it comes to defending you.

Luckily for you, when you work with the team at the Law Offices of Robert J. DeGroot, you can rest assured that you’re working with the best of the best. When you need a bank fraud attorney in New Jersey who’s been in the business long enough to have secured a positive outcome for a number of different cases, look no further than Robert DeGroot!

Meet with New Jersey’s Best Bank Fraud Attorney Today

If you’re facing bank fraud charges, you can rest assured that the team at the Law Offices of Robert J. DeGroot are here to help. When you need a team that’s accomplished and helpful, we’ll be here to show you that you have someone on your side. We know that you’re likely going through a difficult time and that you need someone you can trust to look out for your best interests. That’s exactly what we’re here for. Call us today for a free consultation!

3 Steps to Take If You’re Being Investigated for Bank Fraud

If you’re being investigated for bank fraud, there’s a good chance you’re feeling like there’s not much you can do for yourself. Fortunately for you, nothing is further from the truth. Although the recent housing downturn has made for an uptick in bank fraud and federal officials are conducting more investigations than ever, if you happen to find yourself the subject of that investigation, there are a few things you can do for yourself.

That’s why in today’s blog, we’ll take a look at a few of the steps you can take to put yourself in a better position to face the charges that may have been levelled against you. We know that you have a good reputation to uphold and that’s why at the Law Offices of Robert J. DeGroot, we’re here to help. Keep reading for a few tips that can help to put you in a better position.

Are You Being Investigated for Bank Fraud?

If you’ve recently discovered that you’re being investigated for bank fraud, there’s a good chance that you’re feeling confused and nervous about the future, but luckily for you, taking a few of these steps can be exactly the thing that’s needed to have you feeling better.

Step One: Call a Bank Fraud Lawyer

The absolute best thing you can do if you’re being investigated for bank fraud is to contact a lawyer. You may be tempted to go with the first lawyer that pops up on Google, but the key is to make sure that you find a lawyer who has plenty of experience in dealing with bank fraud charges.

Luckily for you, if you’re looking for a bank fraud lawyer in Newark or Trenton, Robert J. DeGroot can help.

Step Two: Meet With Your Lawyer

Once you’ve chosen a bank fraud lawyer and made the first call, you’ll want to get together for a meeting to discuss your circumstances. Be sure to bring any paperwork you have on hand because it could be the key to determining the correct strategy in dealing with your case.

Step Three: Stay in Touch

Perhaps the most important thing you can do in your situation is to regularly stay in contact with your bank fraud lawyer of choice. You’ll need to communicate with your lawyer on a regular basis, making sure that he or she is apprised of everything that you find out. Whether you get a phone call or a letter in the mail regarding your case, be sure to relay that information to your bank fraud lawyer right away.

Do You Need a Bank Fraud Lawyer?

As you can probably imagine, cases pertaining to bank fraud are often incredibly heavy on paperwork. That means it’s likely that you’ll need a bank fraud lawyer to keep track of everything for you. Having plenty of experience and expertise in dealing with bank fraud cases will make a world of difference, meaning that it’s absolutely vital that you enlist the help of a bank fraud lawyer who knows what he or she is doing.

Now that you know the steps that should be taken, you can get started. Luckily for you, if you’re in need of a bank fraud lawyer in Newark or Trenton, you can count on the team at the Law Offices of Robert J. DeGroot to be there for you when you need help the most. We understand that there’s a lot at stake and that’s why it pays to protect your interests. To get started with a bank fraud attorney who can help, schedule a free consultation with the team at the Law Offices of Robert J. DeGroot today.

What is Bank Fraud and When is it Time to Hire a Defense Attorney?

opiagIt’s well known that bank fraud is often considered a criminal offense, but how is it different than simply robbing a bank? The goal of both is the same, right? After all, at the end of the day, the goal of bank fraud and bank robbing are both to take home money that doesn’t belong to you.

The difference, of course, is that bank fraud is known for its use of a scheme as the primary method of collecting money. The most well known instance of bank fraud in modern culture, of course, is what occurred at Wells Fargo a few months ago. Without a doubt, it’s the most widespread account of bank fraud that many Americans have seen in their lifetimes.

In that particular instance, employees were opening accounts, creating fraudulent loans, and signing up for checking accounts in order to ensure that their jobs were safe. As you can tell, bank fraud occurs for a number of different reasons.

From stolen checks to forging bank statements to fraudulent wire transfers, there’s no shortage to what can be considered bank fraud. Luckily for you, if you’re under investigation, we’re here to help. Curious about what you can expect from our team? Keep reading to find out!

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If You’re Facing Bank Fraud Charges, Hire the Best Criminal Defense Attorney in Newark

No matter what form of bank fraud charges you’re up against, our team is here to help. We’ve been dealing with bank fraud cases for quite some time and our goal is always to help our clients secure a positive resolution to the situation they find themselves in.

With over forty years of experience, bank fraud lawyer Robert J. DeGroot is here to make sure that you receive an aggressive defense. If you’re looking for professional, courteous advice and personalized attention, our team is the perfect fit.

Because cases involving bank fraud can often feel drawn out and time consuming (not to mention heavy on the paperwork), it’s important to have a bank fraud lawyer on your side who knows the ins and outs of the situation and what to expect every single step of the way.

Contact Our Criminal Law Firm Today

It doesn’t matter what you’re up against. At this point, we’ve seen it all and we’ve defended our clients against a number of charges, working hard to ensure that they get the outcome they desire. If you’re being investigated for bank fraud, schedule an appointment with our team today.

Backed by a team of professional paralegals and associates, bank fraud lawyer Robert J. DeGroot knows the ins and outs of bank fraud. With more than four decades of experience under his belt, he’s standing by to take up your cause in order to make sure that when you need help the most, you get the best help available.

To get started, simply contact us, providing our team with a bit of information about how to be in touch with you and we’ll get back to you to schedule your free consultation.

Are You Being Investigated for Bank Fraud?


We’ve seen an uptick up cases involving bank fraud in recent years. What is the cause? It’s hard to say for sure, but many point to the somewhat recent economic and housing downturn in which it became harder and harder for people to afford their mortgages.

This, of course, led to quite a bit of extra interest from federal officials and prosecutors who were looking to catch fraudsters all over the United States.

If you’re being investigated for bank fraud, the best thing you can do for yourself is to hire a bank fraud lawyer immediately. In other words, not just any lawyer will do the trick. Instead, make it a point to hire someone who has experience dealing with bank fraud cases because in situations like this you’ll want as much help as possible on your side.

Are you looking for a bank fraud lawyer in Newark? The Law Offices of Robert J. DeGroot are here to help. Our team of professionals is experienced in bank fraud and Robert DeGroot is here to help. When you need the help of someone who has the necessary experience, look no further.

Curious about what you can expect from our team if you hire bank fraud lawyer Robert J. DeGroot? Keep reading to find out!

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Are You Seeking a Bank Fraud Lawyer?

If you’re in trouble and need the assistance of a bank fraud lawyer, one thing you can expect is for your case to require a number of different documents. Everything from deposit slips to transfer receipts to statements could be necessary during your case. Additionally, those who are investigating you for bank fraud will likely have quite a bit of paperwork as well.

When you’re in need of a bank fraud lawyer who can manage all of that paperwork, look no further than Robert DeGroot. Our team has plenty of experience in dealing with bank fraud cases and our staff is made up of paralegals and associates who are fully dedicated to ensuring that your case ends with a positive resolution.

The Best Bank Fraud Attorney in Newark

Because bank fraud cases often involve a discussion of the misusing or mishandling of funds, you want someone on your side who can take a look at the evidence and build a strong defense case for you, ensuring that your good name goes untarnished. We understand that you have a reputation to protect and we’ll work hard to do just that.

One thing you may be thinking is that your situation seems hopeless and that you should just submit to whatever demands are made. That line of thinking is damaging, because with a good bank fraud lawyer who has your best interests at heart, you can often avoid exposure to many of the serious consequences that come along with federal charges.

Just because you don’t think there’s a way out of your situation doesn’t mean there isn’t and we’ll work hard to fight for you, ensuring that we can secure the outcome that you desire.

Contact Our Bank Fraud Lawyer Today

Finding an experienced bank fraud lawyer in New Jersey can be a difficult thing, but all it takes is a look into Robert J. DeGroot’s record of success in the field to see that he’s willing to fight for you. After all, the best attorneys are the ones who are willing to go to battle for their clients and that’s exactly what you can expect from our team of dedicated professionals.

By working together with a uniquely qualified team, Robert J. DeGroot ensures that no stone is left unturned when it comes to planning for your defense. Regardless of the situation that you’ve found yourself in, we want you to know that we’re always here to help.

As a matter of fact, we offer our clients a free initial consultation to discuss the details of their particular cases. During that time, we’ll get to know you, listen to your story, and let you know what we can do to help. All it takes is you contacting us to get the process started.

Trust us when we say that you don’t want to go through this alone. With our help, you don’t have to.

Speak to our bank fraud lawyer today!

How the Online World Opens You Up to Bank Fraud

E-Commerce has boomed over the last 20 years for the purchase and sales of online products. As useful as the internet is, it also leaves individuals open to vulnerabilities with their bank accounts and personal identifying information. Tech savvy generation Y tends to be more open to using the internet without considering the bank fraud possibilities and the ease in which personal information can be acquired. Consider these three areas in which a few simple changes can make a world of difference in the safety of your identity.  


  1. Passwords

Probably the simplest change and the one that is mentioned most often is utilizing and protecting good passwords. Pick passwords unique to you, something you can remember yet would not be easy to guess. Avoid birthdates and common words. Also, don’t share your password through email or text. Millennials are four times more likely to have their account and payment information used for fraudulent purchases by someone they know versus a stranger.


  1. Secure Internet Connections

In a world full of free wi-fi it seems easy and convenient to check a bank account or pay that bill while waiting in line at Starbucks. Utilizing free wi-fi networks is inherently lacks security and opens up accounts to easily being hacked. Wait until you are on a known network to make financial transactions, including purchases, to save yourself the difficulties associated with having a credit card number stolen.


  1. Social Media Sharing Mentality

Facebook, Twitter, and many other social networks make it easy to share information. This includes your current location and birthday. Information that was not easily accessible previously is now common knowledge. Next time think before you Tweet your location or message your NetFlix password through Facebook to your best friend to help keep your private information just that, private.

Securities in Paper Checks to Prevent Check Fraud

One of the most common forms of bank fraud is through the use of checks. Individuals can simply steal checks and withdraw cash as their own. Other individuals may simply do what is called check kiting, or intentionally using checks for goods even though they know they have insufficient funds. Doctoring checks is much less common especially with advances in technology that protect individual’s checks, especially from being photocopied.


There are two main security features to look from when accepting personal checks. The first is to check the signature line. If a check has been photocopied for use, the microprint signature line will appear dotted instead of solid. Any check that looks washed out or black and white is also probably a copy.


Next, check the back. All checks will have a printed security screen pattern on the back as well as descriptions of other security features unique to different check providers. A check should be fully and properly filled out. If you receive a cashier’s check missing any information, then the check is not a genuine, certified check from a financial institution.


Paper checks can still be necessary into the current financial market but in many cases they are being phased out as people opt for electronic direct deposits and online banking. In 2013, the U.S. Department of Treasury phased out paper checks for social security, and other federal aid programs, and opted to provide all funds through electronic checks. This reduced the department’s overhead by approximately $1 billion dollars. Electronic funds provide safer and more convenient delivery of money to recipients.

How Helping Can Hurt

Buying a new home is a big step for anyone. Part of the American Dream tends to be described as owning your own home in the suburbs. But with housing prices high and a required 5 percent down to purchase a home with a conventional loan, many individuals look to their families for money to make their down payment.

Part of the mortgage application process includes verifying where down payment funds come from. If money is received from a family member then a document specifying the funds as a gift must be signed by both parties. However, what happens if money is received from family with the understanding that it must be paid back in full?

Is This Mortgage Fraud?

This grey area causes two separate problems. First, by saying the money is a gift, the home buyer appears to have less debt than they actually have. The unofficial loan of the down payment may increase the buyer’s debt load to a point where a bank would deny a home loan if the money had been on the record. Second, the signed gift letter included in the home loan process specifically states that the money is a gift with no obligation to pay the money back.

Is a Gift Letter Legally Binding?

Because the paperwork for your loan is entered into the record, a gift letter is then a legally binding document that when signed with the intent of the money as a loan, the buyer is lying. For all intents and purposes, this is a form of mortgage and bank fraud.

What should one do instead?

Individuals have a couple different options when it comes to finding the money for a down payment on a home. Consider taking the time to continue renting in order to save the money for a down payment independent of any gift. If a financial gift is needed, try to keep it as just that.

You can also take advantage of any first time home buyer programs in your area. Be sure to check with your realtor because you may qualify for assistance depending on your circumstances. Many of these programs will help with the initial down payment if you fall into certain income brackets and others can do away with mortgage insurance, lowering the cost of your monthly payments. These programs vary from state to state, so be sure to check with your realtor for specifics in your area.

How Can We Help?

If worse comes to worse, hiring a defense attorney to help you protect your assets and yourself from fines and possible prosecution might be the answer. Regardless of the situation that you’re up against, you can count on the team at the Law Offices of Robert J. DeGroot to be there for you when you need help the most. Contact us today to get the help you need.

Three Tips For Guarding Against Check Fraud

dreamstime_xxl_18110450In a previous blog post, we briefly discussed the many faces of bank fraud, which occurs when a person or group obtains money or other assets from a bank or other financial institution using illegal means. Among the more common types of bank fraud is check fraud, which includes the modification, theft, and forgery of checks. For example, a criminal might steal a victim’s checkbook and proceed to write fraudulent checks. Other crimes include changing check values or payees, check counterfeiting, and depositing checks without having the authorization to do so. Keep these tips in mind to guard yourself against check fraud:

  1. Stay Balanced

Keeping a balanced checkbook will help you more readily identify fraud within your account because you will be able to immediately notice any missing funds. It is important to reconcile your bank statement each month to ensure that no fraud is occurring.

  1. Fill Out Checks Completely

Leaving space makes it easier to alter your check. When filling out a check, make sure to fill it out completely without leaving any extra room, especially within the fields for payee name, numerical amount, and amount in words.  It’s also safe practice to only sign a check once it is completely filled out.

  1. Keep Checks Safe

Store your checks in a safe place when you aren’t using them. A document safe or lockable filing cabinet are great at-home options, and when out of the house, you should keep your checks securely on your person rather than in your vehicle. Invest in a locking mailbox if you don’t already have one.

If you’re facing a check fraud or any other bank fraud charge in the Newark area, contact the Law Offices of Robert J. DeGroot. We have more than forty years of experience providing trusted defense against both state and federal charges.