Bank Fraud Federal Charge

by | Jan 22, 2020 | Blog Posts, Federal Criminal Defense | 0 comments

Bank fraud federal charge – There are a wide variety of theft crimes in every jurisdiction. Most theft crimes are going to be state charges, while some of them can be either state or federal.  There are other theft crimes, however, that will always be federal, and one of those crimes is Bank Fraud.  In this blog, we will give a small overview of what bank fraud is.

This is a more complicated topic than can be adequately covered in a blog, so here, we will cover only the basics of the crime. Like all our other blogs, this is intended for general informational purposely only and not intended as a substitute for the advice and counsel of a federal criminal defense attorney.

What is Bank Fraud?

Bank fraud is a federal crime that covers a wide variety of activities involving fraud regarding financial institutions.  It follows the federal sentencing guidelines and is covered under federal general statute 18 U.S.C. 1344. This statute states: “Whoever knowingly, executes or attempts to execute, a scheme or artiface to defraud a financial institution, by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations or promises  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” shall be guilty of this crime.

Examples of Bank Fraud

Bank Fraud can cover a wide range of activities, including, but not limited to the following:

  • Forging a check or other financial instrument in order to obtain funds from a financial institution
  • Having a scheme or plan that induces a fraudulent wire transfer
  • Using fraudulent identification documents in order to make a withdrawal of funds at a financial institution

Punishments for Bank Fraud

Under federal sentencing for this crime, if a defendant is convicted, he can be issued a fine, not more than $1 million, be imprisoned for not more than 30 years, or both.  The sentencing will be very fact specific and depend greatly on the loss amount, the intended loss amount, the means by which the fraud was committed and other relevant factors.

Though you have the presumption of innocence and the government must prove every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt, sometimes the best defense in these cases have nothing to do with the elements of the crime at all.  Sometimes, the best thing to do is focus on showing that the loss and intended loss was as low as possible.  This can be done through a criminal trial or can be negotiated in federal plea.

If you have been charged with a federal crime in North Carolina or have been charged with a federal crime in South Carolina and need an attorney, contact us.


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