What is Bank Fraud?
Federal Bank Fraud Statute 18 U.S.C. 1344
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Bank fraud is a federal criminal offense that is committed primarily to defraud a financial institution. It is important to note that the mere attempt of committing the crime is considered to be punishable, irrespective whether the crime was successfully committed or not.
In order for a defendant to be found guilty of bank fraud, the government must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
First, the defendant knowingly executed a scheme to defraud a financial institution as to a material matter; Second, the defendant did so with the intent to defraud the financial institution; and Third, the financial institution was insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
The phrase “scheme to defraud” means any deliberate plan of action or course of conduct by which someone intends to deceive, cheat, or deprive a financial institution of something of value. It is not necessary for the government to prove that a financial institution was the only or sole victim of the scheme to defraud. It is also not necessary for the government to prove that the defendant was actually successful in defrauding any financial institution. Finally, it is not necessary for the government to prove that any financial institution lost any money or property as a result of the scheme to defraud.
In order to make one liable for the offense, the following are considered to be punishable criminal acts under 18 USC 1344:
- Obtaining or attempting to obtain money, assets, funds, securities, credits and other properties that a financial institution owns or within its control and custody.
- Employing a scheme constituting fraud with the intention of defrauding another through false representation, promises and similar intent.
- Committing the crime, even through offshore banks, where the person guilty of the prohibited acts will be prosecuted when located within the US territory.
Bank Fraud Cases
The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the principal investigating body in the crimes involving bank fraud under 18 USC 1344. The Secret Service may also be involved in the crime investigation under certain circumstances, especially when the crime is committed in relation to money laundering and cyber fraud. Whenever securities are involved in the crime, the Securities and Exchange Commission may also be involved in the investigation, and the Secretaries of State may also intervene.
Bank Fraud Punishment
The commission of bank fraud is punishable either with a fine or imprisonment and in certain cases, both. The penalties may also be influenced by some aggravating circumstances that may impose special prison terms that should be imposed against the offender.
- The fine should not exceed $1,000,000.
- The imprisonment should not exceed 30 years
- Bank fraud is considered as a federal crime with a mandatory minimum sentence of 2 years if it is aggravated by identity theft as provided by 18 U.S.C. 1028A.
Long-term prison sentence can sometimes be avoided in white collar crimes, such as a bank fraud pursuant to 18 USC 1344. Wall Street Prison Consultants specializes in helping federal and state white collar offenders obtain sentence reductions through programs that can help provide alternative solutions to long term incarceration. Our consultation services employ investigative and research processes to assist inmates and their lawyers in finding the best solution and alternatives available to reduce prison terms of an inmate. Discuss possible solutions to your issues today.
Contact Wall Street Prison Consultants today at 855-577-4766. We’re here to help!