Federal bank fraud is a type of white-collar crime. It is the type of federal crime that is typically associated with a business setting and involves the taking of property or money from a banking or financial institution under false pretenses. Bank fraud is very complex in nature and there are often thousands of pages of documents from many entities that must be reviewed in order for a Federal criminal lawyer to properly represent their client.
It is also not uncommon for the United States to prosecute this crime in conjunction with another white-collar crime such as wire fraud, mail fraud, or money laundering. These charges add to the complexity of the case and to the severity of the punishment, if convicted. Like any other allegation of fraud, there is an undertone of theft or deceit. Because of this the potential sentence is dictated by the total amount of value of the theft. White-collar criminal allegations such as bank fraud, tax fraud, or money laundering are far and away the most complex charges in our criminal justice system and for that reason hiring the right Federal criminal attorney is critical.
WHAT IS BANK FRAUD?
Federal bank fraud occurs when someone knowingly executes or attempts to execute some type of scheme to defraud a bank. One can also be guilty of this crime if they execute or attempt to execute a scheme in an attempt to obtain money, credit, funds, assets, securities or any other property owned by or under the control of a financial institution by means of false pretenses, promises, or representations. Specifically, the government must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
First, it must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant knowingly carried out a scheme or plan to obtain money or property from a bank by making false statements or promises;
Second, it must be shown that the defendant knew that the statements or promises were false;
Third, the statements or promises were material; that is, they had a natural tendency to influence, or were capable of influencing, a financial institution to part with money or property;
Fourth, the defendant acted with the intent to defraud; and
Fifth, the bank was federally chartered or insured.
HOW CAN WE HELP?
If you have received a target letter or have been charged with bank fraud, it is crucial to contact white-collar crime lawyer as soon as possible. Defending against bank fraud allegations often requires demonstrating that there was no act performed with any intent to defraud. If someone had an honest and good faith belief in the truth of the “misrepresentations,” then there is very likely a strong defense to the intent to defraud element. Additionally, a misrepresentation must be material to the alleged fraud. Without the required intent to defraud, there can be no bank fraud conviction. Our white-collar crime experience allows us to strive to achieve the best possible result for each of our clients. If you’ve been charged with a Federal crime, contact Haas Law today at 407-755-7675.