Bank fraud is a white-collar crime often charged at the federal level because it affects the nation’s financial institutions. As such, it often carries heavy penalties. Facing charges of bank fraud can be a terrifying experience – having the support of an experienced criminal defense attorney can make a difference.
What Is Bank Fraud?
The federal bank fraud statute is broad, stating “whoever knowingly executes, or attempts to execute, a scheme or artifice (1)to defraud a financial institution; or
(2)to obtain any of the moneys, funds, credits, assets, securities, or other property owned by, or under the custody or control of, a financial institution, by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises” commits bank fraud. 18. U.S.C. § 1344.
A financial institution may includes credit unions and banks that are federally insured. This includes Federal Reserve banks, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), mortgage lending agencies, and other institutions that accept deposits of money or other financial assets.
Types of Bank Fraud
There are many different types of bank fraud prosecuted under federal law. The Department of Justice is responsible for investigating bank fraud and ensuring the security of the nation’s financial institutions. Each year, the agency performs its duties by investigating cases of bank fraud, as well as identity theft, automatic payment systems fraud, check forgery and alterations, direct deposit fraud, and counterfeiting.
Common types of bank fraud include:
- Fraudulent loans
- Fraudulent checks
- Bank impersonation
- Internet bank fraud
Forgery falls under the definition of bank fraud when a person changes the name or alters the information on the face of a check. This may include adding a zero to the original amount (increasing the check’s actual worth) or forging a person’s signature to deposit or cash a check. In addition, fraudulent loans may involve using a false identity to obtain a loan or using false information on a loan application. If a person takes out a loan with the intention to file for bankruptcy soon after, this may also count as bank fraud.
Penalties for Bank Fraud
As a federal offense, bank fraud carries serious penalties. Eighteen U.S.C. § 1344 sets forth the standards for penalizing people convicted of bank fraud. A person convicted of bank fraud will likely face fines and prison time. The severity of the penalties will depend on the specific facts of the crime, such as how much money was stolen and what technique was used to steal the money.
The code states that a person convicted of bank fraud:
- May be fined up to one million dollars
- May receive a prison sentence of up to 30 years
Berry Law’s Team Provides You With Multiple Attorney Perspectives
Call an Omaha Bank Fraud Attorney Today
Since 1965, Berry Law has represented hundreds of clients against charges of bank fraud and other federal white-collar crimes. People charged with a crime can benefit from the efficient and informative services of an experienced Omaha criminal defense attorney. The legal team at the Berry Law is committed to providing aggressive representation on behalf of clients and can use their 100+ years of legal experience to fight for defendants against charges of bank fraud across Nebraska. Reach out today to schedule a consultation.