5 Legal Points Concerning Bank Fraud Crime

Violations of law at a bank or by using accounts of a financial institution are commonly prosecuted in federal court as “bank fraud.” The United States Attorney Office will seek an Indictment (a charging document formally charging the person with a crime) for bank fraud based upon a relatively non-complex theft or embezzlement of monies by a bank employee, or a more complex scheme to defraud based upon false statements, such as an overvaluation of property or securities. Also, the federal prosecutor office will seek an Indictment for bank fraud based upon a complex scheme to defraud, such as a scheme based upon a series of false loan applications and misuses of loaned monies or non-existent collateral.

The United States Code contains federal crimes that are prosecuted by the Department of Justice or its field offices, the United States Attorney Offices, in respective districts in the different states. Title 18, United States Code, Section 1344, titled Bank Fraud, makes it a crime to defraud a bank or commit a scheme to defraud regarding the accounts of a financial institution. Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 1344 reads as follows:

BANK FRAUD 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 of or control of, a financial institution, by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises; shall be fined not more than $1,000,000 or imprisoned for more than 30 years, or both.

FALSE STATEMENTS The violation of making a false statement to a financial institution is also a commonly used criminal law used to prosecute people for making misrepresentations to fact to a bank. The crime of making a false statement is often utilized when federal prosecutors are investigating a person for bank fraud or violations concerning a financial institution. Under Title 18, United States Code, Section 1014, it is a federal crime to make a false statement to a financial institution. 18 U.S. C. 1014 reads as follows (in summary):

False Statements to a Financial Institution Whoever knowingly 1) Makes a false statement, or overvalues any property 2) For the purpose of influencing an anyway 3) The action of a financial institution shall be fined not more than $1,000,000 or imprisoned for more than 30 years, or both.

Neil Lemons represents Dallas-based criminal attorney John Teakell, who offers defense for Bank fraud” as well as other white collar offenses. For more information, visit http://www.teakelllaw.com.

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