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Bank Fraud Convictions And Prison Time

Bank fraud is a serious federal offense that can result in spending significant time in federal prison and paying a financial penalty. In short, bank fraud occurs when someone uses deception or deceit to obtain money or property from a financial institution. It is important to note that Title 18 U.S.C. Section 1014, a separate federal crime, makes it illegal to make false statements to a financial institution.

Given the severity of the sentencing in these crimes, it is in your best interests to consult with an attorney experienced in getting favorable results for people charged with white collar crimes such as bank fraud. I am attorney Peter Katz, and I offer a free consultation so that you can understand the scope of the charges, your options and how I may be able to improve your situation. Call my firm, the Law Offices of Peter Katz, at 609-900-2648 to arrange a meeting.

Understanding The Scope Of Bank Fraud Charges

Bank fraud is an offense under Section 1344 of the United States Code. One commits the crime of bank fraud when they knowingly execute, or attempt to execute, a scheme or artifice to accomplish the following:

  • Defraud a financial institution
  • Obtain 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

It is imperative that you understand what you are being charged with, the evidence against you and your options for an effective defense. In many cases, these charges also involve conspiracy charges.

What Is ‘Fraud?’

Fraud occurs when one makes material misleading statements or intentionally omits material information. Something is “material” if it relates to the scheme somehow, such as helping the defendant carry out the crime or making the victim believe the defendant. Depending on the details in your case, mail and wire fraud charges may also be brought against you.

Types Of Bank Fraud

As you can see, the bank fraud statute is quite broad and encompasses various actions that can result in federal charges. It is important to note that a bank fraud charge is not limited to providing a bank with false information to acquire a loan or creating counterfeit currency. Other offenses include:

  • Skimming: This is the illegal process in which one duplicates the information on the magnetic strip of one’s credit or debit card. It is not uncommon for offenders to target ATMs, gas pumps and other automated purchasing machines. Often, skimmers use the card to make online purchases.
  • Check fraud: This offense occurs in a variety of different ways, some of which are listed below:
    • Forgery: Signing or endorsing a check not payable to the endorser
    • Theft: Stealing checks
    • Check kiting: Writing a check off of a bank account with inadequate funds to cover the check
    • Washing: Using special chemicals to remove information, like the amount or date, from a check
  • Credit and debit card fraud: Many of us have been victims of credit or debit card fraud, especially given the prominent role the internet and online marketplaces play in our daily lives when unauthorized purchases appear on our bank statements.

I have helped many people improve their situation in these cases. To find out more about the successes that I’ve enabled my clients to experience, visit my representative cases page.

Bank Fraud And Aggravated Identity Theft Penalties

Upon conviction of bank fraud, one can face a fine of up to $1 million and/or a prison sentence of up to 30 years.

In addition to charging a person with bank fraud, federal prosecutors have the opportunity to bring an aggravated identity theft charge under Title 18 U.S.C. Section 1028(a). This offense applies when a person “knowingly transfers, possesses or uses, without lawful authority, a means of identification of another person.” What makes this sentence unique is that it comes with a mandatory two-year consecutive prison sentence.

How Effective Legal Counsel Can Protect You Now And In The Future

Having a bank fraud conviction attached to one’s name can have significant consequences for the rest of that person’s life. Despite having served time in federal prison and paying a steep fine, one still has the stigma of being a convicted felon, which can affect their ability to get financing from a bank. On top of all that, one also risks their job and puts their reputation at risk. The mere hiring of experienced defense counsel can put one at ease because they know that someone is working tirelessly on their behalf to fight for them and their future.

Get In Touch With Me To Discuss Your Case In Detail

I am an experienced former state and federal prosecutor who has prosecuted many white collar cases during my two-decade career. When I take on your case, I give it my full attention. Call the Law Offices of Peter Katz at 609-900-2648 or contact my firm online to begin preparing your defense today. I serve clients in both New York and New Jersey as well as in Princeton and throughout Mercer County.