A couple from New York is currently facing federal charges. They are accused of felonies including mail fraud and conspiracy to commit bank fraud. According to reports, the 66-year-old lawyer and his wife, both of Seneca Falls, were charged in mid-December. Each of the charges they face carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison, a $1 million fine, or possibly both.

The couple owned and operated a mortgage business together. In 2009, they allegedly re-routed funds from a refinance loan for a client. Prosecutors say the man and wife diverted the funds to themselves. They are accused of spending the money instead of using it to pay off their client’s $95,000 mortgage. Prosecutors also claim that the couple forged bank records to show that the loan had been repaid but that the bank had lost the money.

Felonies such as the ones alleged here are considered white collar crimes, and conviction of such crimes can carry serious consequences. Upon conviction, an individual can be subject to hefty fines or lengthy stays in federal prison — or both. Of course, a fraud conviction can result in life-changing circumstances that should not be taken lightly. New York residents who find themselves accused of such felonies may benefit from the services of a qualified criminal defense lawyer. A criminal defense attorney can assess the circumstances of a case and help present the facts with a view toward proving innocence. In such cases, a solid legal strategy is often necessary to ensuring that the rights of the accused are protected under New York and federal law.

Source: democratandchronicle.com, “Couple charged in bank scam,” Bennett J. Loudon, Dec. 19, 2011