Bank fraud is a serious federal offense with potentially life-altering consequences. If you are convicted of bank fraud, you may not only feel consequences in the form of fines and prison time, but your personal relationships and professional future may suffer permanent harm. Because of the serious nature of defrauding a bank, defendants will face tenacious federal and state prosecution and harsh public scrutiny that will seek to prove guilt both inside and outside of the courtroom.
If you are facing bank fraud charges in California, it is critical that you seek the counsel and guidance of an experienced defense attorney who has a thorough knowledge of federal and state laws and has specific experience successfully handling bank fraud cases. Santa Clarita defense lawyer Daniel E. Kann is dedicated to protecting the rights of all who face such charges and keeping harsh and unnecessary penalties from being handed down. The first step to defending against and preventing the potential consequences of bank fraud charges is to understand the laws and penalties surrounding the crime.
Understanding Bank Fraud
Bank fraud is a criminal offense where an individual deliberately and knowingly carries out a scheme to defraud a financial institution. It is essentially the use of fraudulent means to obtain money, assets, or other property that is owned or in the control of a bank or other financial institution. Bank fraud may be committed in a number of ways including the following:
- Mail fraud - attempting to gain access to funds via fraudulent representation by mail;
- Wire fraud - defrauding a financial institution via wire, radio, or telephone communication;
- Making false statements on loan applications or other documents - misrepresentation in order to gain access to funds illegally;
- Falsifying documents - further misrepresentation through important documents meant to gain a bank's trust and access funds;
- Forging checks - using fake checks or illegally using another person's checks to gain funds from a financial institution;
- Loan fraud - using misrepresentation and other illegal means to receive a loan a person would not normally be able to receive; and
- Counterfeiting bank documents - can include a wide variety of items, all meant to gain access in some form to the finances of a bank.
However, unlike many other forms of fraud, bank fraud is defined as illegal under U.S. federal legislation, meaning that these crimes will be investigated by federal agencies and prosecuted under federal criminal law rather than state law.
Federal Prosecution for Bank Fraud Crimes
Bank fraud is a federal crime defined by the Bank Fraud Statute found in Title 18 of the U.S. Code in Section 1344 as "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 or control of, a financial institution, by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises."
Under federal law, bank fraud is punishable by a sentence in federal prison for up to 30 years and up to a $1,000,000 fine. In addition to these severe consequences, a bank fraud allegation could also seriously tarnish your reputation and your credibility, making it difficult for you to seek employment in the future or even earn a livelihood. Defrauding a federal institution that is insured by the federal government is an offense which is taken very seriously and federal prosecutors leave no stone unturned while prosecuting these cases. While no crime is met with lax prosecution, all federal crimes, especially major ones like bank fraud, are prosecuted to the full extent of the law and on a highly public scale.
The Steadfast Protection of a Santa Clarita Bank Fraud Attorney
If you have been accused of committing bank fraud, you need the counsel and guidance of an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Daniel E. Kann has many years of experience in the legal system, particularly in defending cases in federal court. The legal team at the Law Offices of Daniel E. Kann will fight hard to defend your rights and conduct thorough independent investigations to help get your charges dismissed and clear your name. Our federal crime lawyers also have experience getting charges reduced, which in turn will significantly diminish your penalties. We understand that facing any criminal charge can be a scary experience, let alone facing a federal charge such as bank fraud. Contact our offices today; we will guide you through the complex circumstances of the legal system and your case and fight to protect your rights and your freedom.