Alabama Fraud Defense Attorney - Barclay Law, LLC
White collar crimes involving fraud represent some of the most complex types of cases we handle at Barclay Law, LLC. We realize that anyone accused of fraudulent activities faces the real possibility of loss of freedom and significant fines. Common types of fraud crimes prosecuted in the Federal Courts of the Northern, Middle and Southern District of Alabama include bank fraud, mortgage fraud, wire fraud, health care fraud, securities fraud and computer fraud. If you or someone you know is facing fraud charges of any kind, it's critical to get help from an experienced attorney with the skills to make a meaningful difference.
Call Barclay Law, LLC right now. John Michael Barclay, lead attorney at Barclay Law, LLC, has been named one of Birmingham Magazine's Top Attorneys practicing in criminal defense. He was listed in Alabama Super Lawyers Rising Stars in 2012 and 2013. In addition, Mr. Barclay received the AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review AV Ratings for attorneys in Alabama, the highest possible rating.
Barclay Law, LLC represents citizens who are the subject of target letters, investigations and those who have been charged with fraud and other white collar crimes in the Federal Courts in the State of Alabama. These cases normally are prosecuted in Federal Courts of the Northern, Middle and Southern Districts of U.S. District Courts of Alabama. John Michael Barclay has experience representing clients in these and other Federal Courts protecting the rights, future and freedom of the wrongly accused, the wrongly targeted and those who believe they are beyond help. If you have been introduced to the justice system by way of Federal charges or if you are the target of a Federal criminal investigation, call Barclay Law, LLC today to discuss what can be done to protect your rights and your future.
Types of Fraud Charges
Fraud is a broad legal term that in the criminal context covers a similarly broad range of illegal activities. Generally, fraud charges may be filed against someone who gains something of value from another individual or entity by knowingly making a misrepresentation of a matter of fact upon which the aggrieved individual or entity relies. Usually, the fraud suspect benefits from ill gotten gains as a result of the alleged fraud.
If you are charged with fraud or believe you are under investigation, call Barclay Law, LLC immediately to learn about your rights and legal options. We will begin challenging the government's case with the goal of obtaining a dismissal of the charge early in the case. We also are prepared to fight for clients at trial.
The following are some of the fraud cases we handle:
- Mortgage Fraud
- Bank Fraud
- Identity Fraud
- Business Fraud
- Health Care Fraud
- Ponzi Scheme
- Internet Crimes
Federal Fraud Crimes are codified in various chapters of Title 18 U.S.C. - Mail Fraud at 18 U.S.C. § 1341, Wire Fraud at 18 U.S.C. § 1343, Bank Fraud at 18 U.S.C. §1344 and Health Care Fraud at 18 U.S.C. § 1347 just to name a few.
Alabama white collar attorney John Michael Barclay provides a vigorous defense for clients charged with mortgage fraud. Attorney Barclay represents clients accused of a variety of alleged wrongdoing related to mortgages. The government typically may prosecute an employee or owner of a mortgage company, a real estate agent or a mortgage broker, to name a few professionals who may be targeted. Accusations of mortgage fraud can include overstating income or assets or submitting fraudulent mortgage loan applications, among other allegations. In handling a mortgage fraud investigation, the government may charge someone with wire fraud, conspiracy, identity theft or money laundering, among other types of fraud.
The government takes the white collar crime of bank fraud very seriously. Under 18 U.S.C. § 1344, bank fraud is defined as a scheme or artifice to defraud an FDIC insured financial institution to obtain money, funds, credits, assets, securities or other property owned by or under the custody or control of a financial institution. If convicted, a defendant faces up to a $1 million fine and imprisonment of up to 30 years.
Bank fraud covers a range of actions, including:
- Identity theft
- Check kiting and check fraud
- Securities fraud
Bank fraud may be linked to someone inside the financial institution. Sometimes bank employees or managers are charged with embezzlement, which is another type of fraud in which a person in charge of money appropriates it for his or her own benefit. The majority of these cases, however, do not involve an employee stealing money from the bank either directly or through some scheme. Often, authorities charge someone outside the bank. They may face charges of stolen checks, ID theft or internet fraud. If you are facing charges, contact Barclay Law, LLC immediately to get started in building a solid defense.
About 15 million U.S. citizens fall prey to identity theft each year - with losses estimated to be in the tens of billions of dollars. The digital revolution continues to explode in Alabama and throughout the United States. With the growing problem of identity theft, law enforcement will zealously prosecute individuals suspected of using someone else's personal information without permission to commit fraud or other crimes. Identity fraud typically involves the use of the following personal information:
- Social Security numbers
- Bank account information
- Credit card numbers
Law enforcement may investigate someone accused of stealing money from a bank account using the owner's information. In other cases, an identity thief may use personal information to obtain credit cards under the other person's name and use the credit cards to make purchases.
Alabama considers identity theft as a felony. Someone convicted of identity theft in Alabama may be ordered to pay restitution and fines any may receive a lengthy prison sentence. But federal authorities may investigate identity fraud - and there are different penalties linked to federal identity theft laws.
If you are accused of identity theft, contact Barclay Law, LLC immediately. Experienced white collar criminal defense lawyer John Michael Barclay will protect your rights throughout the criminal process.
Business Fraud, also known as Corporate Fraud, is estimated to cost U.S. businesses in the neighborhood of $50 billion annually. This type of fraud is found not only in the Board rooms of Corporate America but perhaps more commonly in small businesses. Often, business fraud in the context of a small business results in far reaching investigations that can negatively impact everyone employed by the business, not simply the owners. Commonly, business fraud involves embezzlement or larceny, which occurs when someone takes money from the company for his or her benefit.
In 2002, Congress passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, commonly referred to as SOX. This legislation set new standards for all public company boards, management and public accounting firms in the United States. SOX also includes a number of provisions that apply to privately held companies. This legislation was adopted in reaction to major corporate and accounting scandals and adds harsh penalties in the form of terms of incarceration and monetary finds for certain misconduct.
The Federal Government has unlimited resources and time to devote to prosecuting business fraud-related white collar criminal matters. It's essential for anyone who is under investigation for, a target of or charged with a business fraud crime to work with an experienced White Collar Criminal Defense attorney like John Michael Barclay immediately. Attorney Barclay is well-versed in state and federal laws that apply to business fraud and related white collar crimes. He knows what's required to mount a skillful and aggressive defense.
The government cites the "rising threat" of health care fraud as a reason for aggressively prosecuting such cases. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), health care fraud costs the government tens of billions of dollars each year. Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), the federal government dedicated more resources to prosecuting health care fraud. Fraud cases handled by Federal prosecutors and State Attorneys General involve a range of schemes, from bogus Medicare claims to kickbacks for unneeded treatments.
Attorney Barclay knows that improper billing by medical doctors, doctors of osteopathy and dentists has become more common over recent years. He will fight for MDs, DOs and DMDs who have been charged or are under investigation for improper billing. In some cases, the medical professional may have pushed the envelope when billing an insurance company or perhaps charged for services that were never performed.
Common schemes involving improper billing include but are not limited to:
- Billing for services never performed
- "Upcoding," which involves billing for more expensive versions of similar procedures
- "Unbundling," which involves billing for each part of a single procedure
- Performing unnecessary procedures and billing for them
- Altering a diagnosis in order to bill for expensive treatment
- Billing for patients who don't exist (ghost patients)
- Receiving kickbacks for patient referrals
In some cases, a medical professional may be working for a clinic owned by investors and be pressured into performing unnecessary procedures such as a root canal to boost profits. In other cases, a doctor or dentist may submit a bill for a procedure that was performed by a nurse practitioner or a dental assistant. The bill, however, states that the procedure was performed by the doctor or dentist.
Typically, an investigation may start if law enforcement suspects someone or a company may be defrauding government programs such as Medicaid and Medicare through bribery or kickbacks through the schemes listed above or through other types of schemes.
As an experienced health care fraud defense attorney, John Michael Barclay knows that a simple coding error or mistake involving billing can quickly snowball into major government investigation that threatens your freedom. Medical professionals who are accused can be seriously harmed without even being convicted. Attorney Barclay's goal is not only to protect you from a criminal conviction, but also to minimize damage to your reputation. An investigation can lead to the loss of a professional license, fines and embarrassing media coverage.
Whether an oversight or mistake, you need an aggressive white collar defense attorney who will fight to protect your license and your reputation.
Attorney Barclay represents doctors, dentists, chiropractors and other medical professionals charged with health care fraud. He will work with you to help you prepare for an investigation or a Medicare or Medicaid audit.
Contact Barclay Law, LLC immediately if you have been arrested on charges of health care fraud; you have been contacted by Federal, State or Local law enforcement; or you have heard from an insurance company that is raising questions about improper billing or potentially fraudulent activity.
Legislation such as the Stark Law has been created to prevent health care fraud. The Stark Law makes it illegal for doctors to refer Medicare and Medicaid patients to an entity for a designated health service if the doctor or immediate family member has a financial stake in the entity (known as physician self-referral ). In some cases, prosecutors may overreach and target a doctor's employee for receiving a direct payment from a medical device company, for example.
In addition, prosecutors may cite the federal anti-kickback statute, which prohibits anyone from exchanging or offering to exchange anything of value to induce or reward Medicare or Medicaid referrals. A conviction for a violation may result in a fine of up to $25,000 and up to 5 years in prison.
While the Federal Government's unprecedented push for all Americans to have Health Insurance and other groundbreaking changes in Health Care Law have been widely covered by the media, less publicized but equally as invigorated has been the Federal Government's renewed commitment to eliminating Health Care Fraud. By way of data mining and statistical analysis, aggressive adoption and punitive interpretation of many Federal Laws, Federal Prosecutors in the United States including those in Alabama continue to escalate the scale and scope of Health Care Fraud prosecutions each year. If you find yourself the target of a Federal Health Care Fraud investigation or if you have been charged under one of many Health Care Fraud statutes available to Federal and State prosecutors, seek competent legal counsel today.
Fight back to protect your rights and preserve your freedom and start mounting a strong defense today with the help of a trusted health care fraud defense attorney. Call Barclay Law, LLC now to schedule a consultation.
Prosecutors may accuse someone of engaging in a Ponzi scheme - also known as a pyramid scheme - as part of an investment fraud investigation. Perhaps the most well-known Ponzi scheme conviction involved investment adviser Bernie Madoff, who was sentenced to 150 years in prison for defrauding thousands of investors of billions of dollars.
The Madoff story brought an increased public awareness of Ponzi schemes. Investors who may have suffered a loss of principal or return on their investment lower than expected may hastily contact authorities, triggering a State or Federal investigation - or both. While these investors may blame the vagaries of the markets on their financial adviser with comparisons to Bernie Madoff, they neglect or ignore the idea they simply suffered a typical loss well within their stated and documented risk tolerance. Today's economic climate along with investors who are still reeling from years of recession has resulted in a growing number of prosecutions for Securities Fraud. Law enforcement stands ready to launch an exhaustive investigation at the slightest hint of a Ponzi scheme, the mere mention of which can blind the public, including potential jurors, leaving Federal Prosecutors to exploit this ongoing fear.
If you've been charged in connection with a pyramid or Ponzi scheme or you are under investigation, contact us immediately. These cases typically are handled in federal court. Attorney John Michael Barclay has experience representing clients facing serious charges in state and federal courts and knows what's required to build a strong defense against allegations of Ponzi schemes.
Every day the government investigates allegations of internet crime, which covers a range of activities from distribution of child pornography or solicitation of a minor for sex to schemes involving email interception, phishing, hacking, credit card fraud and identity theft. As society has become more digital-focused, law enforcement has stepped up prosecutions of crimes committed over the internet. The federal government, which has become more involved in these types of crimes, has created special task forces to prosecute such cases. They use tools such as search warrants and subpoenas to investigate suspected offenders.
In many cases, someone suspected of committing a "cybercrime" becomes the target of a federal investigation. If you are under federal investigation or charged, you may face significant fines or a lengthy prison sentence.
White collar criminal defense attorney John Michael Barclay represents people charged with all types of cyber crimes involving the internet, including economic crimes. Law enforcement takes cases involving computer and internet fraud very seriously. The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, a federal law, makes it illegal to access a protected computer without proper authorization. But just as technology evolves, the law changes constantly. Prosecutors may cite newer state and federal laws when gathering evidence against a defendant.
Attorney John Michael Barclay is well-versed in state and federal laws related to cyber crimes. He is prepared to handle these complex cases. Anyone charged with an internet crime deserves an advocate committed to fighting for justice.