Bank Fraud Schemes
Activities that fall under the category of bank fraud schemes are often committed without any intent by the accused to defraud the financial institution in question. Unfortunately, prosecutors are not required to provide evidence of intent in order to convict someone of bank fraud, which means that many innocent people are charged with this offense every year. This lack of a requirement to prove intent makes it especially important for those who have been unfairly accused of taking part in a bank fraud scheme to speak with an experienced white collar crime attorney who can help you begin formulating a defense.
What is Bank Fraud?
Bank fraud occurs when someone, whether intentionally or unintentionally, uses false or fraudulent representations, promises, or pretenses to obtain the money, credits, funds, assets, securities, or other property owned by or under the control of a bank. In fact, a person can be charged with and convicted of bank fraud for merely attempting to commit bank fraud. However, it’s important to note that in order to qualify as a fraudulent misrepresentation, a statement must be material. For instance, making a false statement on a loan application or providing tax returns that contain incorrect information could both qualify as material misrepresentations.
Bank fraud is one of the most serious white collar crimes with which a person can be charged, and as such, is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000,000 and term of imprisonment of up to 30 years.
For most white collar crimes, prosecutors are required to prove that the accused willingly and intentionally committed the offense in order to obtain a conviction. Charges of bank fraud, however, are unique in that they don’t require proof of intent. This is because, in the federal government’s view, the mere act of purposely trying to obtain money or property from a bank under false pretenses is enough to demonstrate guilt.
Unfortunately, because prosecutors are not required to provide evidence of intent, many of those who are involved in bank fraud schemes, but who had no knowledge that they were occurring could face criminal charges. Alternatively, a person could have intended to defraud another individual, but not the bank itself and still be charged with bank fraud. This is because under federal law, theft of another person’s assets, if held at a certain bank, can be charged as bank fraud, which comes with much more severe consequences than a standard fraud offense.
Contact Our White Collar Crime Legal Team Today
Bank fraud is one of the most serious white collar crimes with which a person can be charged, as conviction can result in up to 30 years imprisonment and hefty fines. With so much at stake, it is especially important for those who have been accused of this offense to retain an experienced attorney who can represent their interests and protect their rights. To begin formulating a defensive strategy in your own case, please contact Jeffrey S. Weiner, P.A., Criminal Defense Attorneys in Miami at 305-670-9919. Initial consultations are offered free of charge, so please don’t hesitate to call or contact us online today.