UCMJ Article 123a: Making, Drawing, or Uttering Check, Draft, or Order without Sufficient Funds

A service member of the United States Armed Forces who intentionally makes, draws or utters a check or draft and uses it as legal tender to pay off a debt or procure some item of value knowing at the time that sufficient funds do not exist within the connected account will face conviction and sentencing under Article 123a of the UCMJ.

White collar crimes connected to bad or bogus checks, drafts or money orders are aggressively prosecuted by the government. Should you be convicted, you will likely face:

  • A dishonorable discharge. Your military salary and healthcare will be taken from you. You will never receive your retirement or G.I. benefits
  • Depending on the extent of the alleged crimes, you could face multiple charges and specifications of forgery and face jail time that could last decades.
  • Felony level charges will follow you long after you leave prison. You may be forced to take jobs that only a teenager would want.

Bilecki & Tipon has been defending Service Members from financial fraud cases for decades. Let us help you win your case. Let us help you fight back, starting today.

What Is Article 123a of the UCMJ?

Every article of the UCMJ requires prosecutors to prove beyond a reasonable doubt a handful of critical assumptions—known as elements—to convict you of a crime. There two criminal offenses defined under article 123a of the UCMJ, each with its own set of elements.

(1) For the procurement of any article or thing of value, with intent to defraud

(a) That the accused made, drew, uttered, or delivered a check, draft, or order for the payment of money payable to a named person or organization

(b) That the accused did so for the purpose of procuring an article or thing of value;

(c) That the act was committed with intent to defraud; and

(d) That at the time of making, drawing, uttering, or delivery of the instrument the accused knew that the accused or the maker or drawer had not or would not have sufficient funds in, or credit with, the bank or other depositories for the payment thereof upon presentment.

(2) For the payment of any past due obligation, or for any other purpose, with intent to deceive

(a) That the accused made, drew, uttered, or delivered a check, draft, or order for the payment of money payable to a named person or organization

(b) That the accused did so for the purpose or purposed purpose of effecting the payment of a past due obligation or for some other purpose;

(c) That the act was committed with intent to deceive; and

(d) That at the time of making, drawing, uttering, or delivery of the instrument the accused knew that the accused or the maker or drawer had not or would not have sufficient funds in, or credit with, the bank or other depositories for the payment thereof upon presentment.

Summary of the Elements of Article 123a: A service member may be accused of two criminal offenses under Article 123a, the first related to the procurement of some item of value by a fraudulent check, draft or order, and the second related to the payment of a debt by a fraudulent check, draft or order.

Regardless of which offense the service member has been accused of, the government will have to prove that the accused made, drew or delivered the fraudulent check or order to the victim knowing that there were not sufficient funds in the account to pay for the item or pay off the debts.

Military Defense Attorney for Article 123a of the UCMJ: Strategies and Tactics

No government evidence is perfect. Paper trails have gaps, forensic evidence can be tainted by law enforcement mismanagement, and witnesses can be cross-examined and their stories are shown to be fabricated. The point being, we are not helpless in the face of even the most damning government evidence. We can help you secure the best possible outcome in your financial fraud case.

To prepare for your case, we’ll perform a full investigation into the events that occurred both during and leading up to the alleged fraud. Some of the avenues we may consider include:

  • The intentions of the accused. What did the accused know or not know at the time that he or she made or delivered the legal tender to the defrauded victim? Could someone else have been behind the fraudulent activity? Has the defendant ever been accused of a financial fraud charge and, if not, what would lead the accused to start now?
  • The value of the item acquired or debt negated. How much did the accused allegedly defraud? Does a third party review of the amount match up to what prosecutors are claiming was defrauded? Is the amount sufficient enough to warrant charges of fraud in the first place? Do prosecutors have bigger fish to fry?
  • The handling of evidence by law enforcement and prosecutors. How did law enforcement handle the evidence of your case? Were there any mistakes? Could the paper trail have been tampered with? Were warrants requested for all government evidence?

As a service member of the U.S. Armed Forces, you deserve a fighting chance in court. Contact Bilecki & Tipon TODAY for a free consultation into your case.

Experienced Military Defense Lawyers for Article 123a Charges

Financial fraud has destroyed promising military careers and left others behind bars for decades. With so much at stake, it’s no wonder that service members based in the Pacific and across the globe choose Bilecki & Tiponmilitary criminal defense lawyers who are experienced in financial fraud cases—to defend their interests in court.

Bilecki & Tipon will help you fight back against charges under Article 123a: Making, Drawing, or Uttering Check, Draft or Order without Sufficient Funds

FAQ'S About Article 123a

What Is the Maximum Possible Punishment for Article 123a: Making, Drawing, or Uttering Check, Draft, or Order without Sufficient Funds?

Article 122 considers two types of maximum punishments for the making, drawing, or uttering of a check, draft, or order without sufficient funds, and also takes into account the value of the property defrauded:

For the procurement of any article or thing of value, with intent to defraud, in the face amount of:

$500 or less: Bad-conduct discharge, Forfeiture of all pay and allowances, reduction to E-1 and confinement for 6 months

Greater than $500: Dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, reduction to E-1 and confinement for 5 years

For the payment of any past due obligation, or for any other purpose, with intent to deceive:

  • Reduction to E-1
  • Forfeiture of all pay and allowances
  • Confinement for 6 months
  • Bad-conduct discharge

What Is the Difference Between Article 123 and Article 123a?

Both Article 123 and 123a govern white collar financial fraud crimes related to the making, drawing, and uttering of checks, drafts, money orders, etc. Whereas Article 123 governs the forging of a check or altering of a document in order to defraud another individual, Article 123a contemplates an individual who writes a check, draft or money order knowing that there are not sufficient funds in a particular account to pay the recipient.

What Our Clients Are Saying About Us

  • Bilecki & Tipon, LLLC His knowledge and experience were evident during the Article 32 where he seemed to sort of take control of the court room.
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  • Bilecki & Tipon, LLLC Mr. Bilecki and his associates are amazingly qualified and skilled in handling UCMJ cases.
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