Defrauding a Bank: Federal Law
Being charged with defrauding a bank under Florida law is a serious offense. Depending on the circumstances and specific conduct that is alleged, a prison sentence of up to 15 years may be imposed. Penalties are even greater if charged with a violation of federal law.
The alleged conduct may be the same whether charged under state or federal law. It is the prosecutors who make the charging decision. In some cases, a person can be charged under both federal and state law for the exact same conduct.
According to the federal bank fraud statute, the elements of the offense are:
- Knowingly executing, or attempting to execute a scheme or artifice to either:
- Defraud a financial institution; or
- “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.”
There are many different acts a person can allegedly commit that fall under the bank fraud statute.
Fraudulently Obtaining a Loan
Fraudulently obtaining a loan covers many acts. For example:
- Obtaining a loan with the intention of immediately filing for bankruptcy so the loan will not have to be repaid.
- Providing inaccurate information on an application for a bank loan.
- Using a false identity in order to be approved for a bank loan.
There are many acts that amount to forgery. Just a few of them include:
- Altering any information on the face of a check.
- Changing the amount of a check, most commonly done by adding a zero to the end of the amount, such as changing $20 to $200, or adding a one in front of the amount, changing $100 to $1,100.
- Forging the account holder’s signature on a check.
- Stealing checks and opening a bank account in a fake name in order to deposit the checks.
A conviction under federal law for defrauding a financial institution carries a fine of “not more than $1,000,000″ or imprisonment for not more than 30 years, or both.
If you have been charged under federal or state law with defrauding a financial institution, you need to contact James Davis. He is admitted to practice in state and federal courts and will vigorously fight for your rights and for your defense.