North Carolina Bank Fraud Lawyers
Bank fraud is a serious white collar financial crime that can be committed by everyday people. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and its partner agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Unit (FinCEN), have seemingly unlimited resources to investigate and prosecute both simple and sophisticated bank fraud schemes.
Title 18, United States Code, Section 1334 is the federal bank fraud statute. It states, “[w]hoever 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; shall be fined not more than $1,000,000 or imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both.”
In other words, if an individual or corporation fraudulently obtains (or attempts to obtain) from any financial institution money or anything else of monetary value, that person or company may be found guilty of bank fraud. As the statute makes clear, the penalties are substantial — a fine of up to $1 million, or worse, up to 30 years in federal prison.
The penalties for bank fraud can vary depending on the specifics of the case, including the amount of money involved, the level of planning and sophistication of the fraud, and the criminal history of the defendant.
And, as in any federal criminal prosecution, aiding and abetting and/or conspiracy liability can result in equally crippling consequences.
EXAMPLES OF BANK FRAUD
Bank fraud refers to any illegal activity that involves the use of banking services, institutions, or processes for fraudulent purposes. Common types of bank fraud are:
- Check fraud: This occurs when an individual or business issues a check with insufficient funds or falsifies a check. It also includes the use of fake checks, forged signatures, or altered checks.
- Credit card fraud: This occurs when someone uses a stolen or fake credit card to make purchases or withdraw cash. It may also involve skimming, where the fraudster obtains credit card information from a legitimate transaction.
- Identity theft: This occurs when a fraudster uses someone else’s personal information, such as social security numbers or bank account numbers, to open new accounts or take out loans.
- ATM skimming: This occurs when a fraudster installs a device on an ATM to collect card information and PINs.
- Phishing scams: This occurs when a fraudster uses email or other electronic communication to trick individuals into providing personal information, such as bank account numbers or passwords.
- Wire transfer fraud: This occurs when a fraudster convinces someone to wire money to a fake or unauthorized account.
- Money laundering: This occurs when illegal funds are disguised as legitimate funds and moved through bank accounts to hide their origins.
- Mortgage fraud: This occurs when a fraudster provides false information on a mortgage application to obtain a loan.
- Investment fraud: This occurs when a fraudster provides false information to convince an individual to invest in a fake or illegitimate investment opportunity.
Our federal bank fraud attorneys have extensive experience defending people who have been charged with serious white collar financial crimes in federal district court. We work tirelessly on each and every federal criminal case to mount the best defense possible, whatever the circumstances may be.