Over two million Americans report cases of fraud each year, and research shows that these figures will likely continue to increase exponentially in the future. While white-collar crimes like fraud and identity theft rarely experience the same level of media attention as other crimes, they occur every day throughout the country and result in billions of dollars of damages. Being accused of fraud is incredibly serious, and a conviction can result in hefty fines and long prison sentences as well as lasting negative effects on your personal and professional life.
If you are charged with bank fraud, you must contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. The only way you can fully understand your charges and achieve the best outcome in your case is to secure legal representation from a Nashville bank fraud lawyer. Learn more about bank fraud by reviewing the following information, then contact Patrick McNally today. Our firm has over 35 years of experience helping clients fight against fraud charges, and we are ready to advocate for you.
Fraud is a type of crime in which the offender seeks to intentionally deceive another person or entity for the purpose of financial gain. Fraud encompasses a wide range of offenses that may be prosecuted at state and federal levels depending on the circumstances of the crime, the victim, and the damages the victim suffered due to the fraud.
Bank fraud is one of the most common and profitable types of fraud. Bank fraud refers to the intentional or unintentional use of (or attempt to use) illegal means to obtain money, assets, or property held by a bank or other financial institution. This form of fraud can be committed against credit unions, mortgage lenders, FDICs, Federal Reserve Banks, or any other institution that accepts funds or assets.
Bank fraud typically occurs when an offender provides falsified documentation to withdraw money from another person’s account. As such, bank fraud can often involve identity theft as well as other types of fraud. Some of the most common types of bank fraud involve using fraudulent checks to obtain money or other assets. An offender may commit check fraud through any of the following ways:
Other common forms of bank fraud involve:
While many cases of bank fraud arise out of the intent to defraud a financial institution, an offender can also be charged with bank fraud if they intend to defraud an individual. To do so, the offender may steal funds from someone else’s account or transfer funds into their own account by illegally logging into the victim’s account or hacking into the bank’s computer system. Federal statutes include a clause that defines theft of another’s assets as bank fraud. Put simply, any time money illegally changes hands within a financial institution under false pretenses, the action can be considered bank fraud.
The penalties for a federal bank fraud conviction can include fines up to $1 million, a maximum of thirty years in prison, or both. In the state of Tennessee, criminal law statutes do not define fraud as its own crime but instead as a type of theft. These statutes define theft as the unlawful taking of goods or services by using deception, fraud, or false pretenses. Thus, cases of bank fraud are charged similarly to any other theft offenses.
The specific charges and penalties depend on the value of the stolen items:
It’s important to note that prosecutors do not have to prove that the offender intended to defraud the bank or individual to file criminal charges or secure a conviction. In most cases, when determining whether a defendant has committed a crime, the prosecution considers intent to be key in proving the defendant’s guilt. In bank fraud cases, however, even someone who does not knowingly and deliberately commit fraudulent acts can still be convicted and sentenced.
If you have been charged with bank fraud, contact McNally Law today. Firm founder and Nashville bank fraud lawyer Patrick McNally can gather evidence that challenges the prosecution’s case, create a formidable defense strategy to fight your charges, and help you obtain the best outcome. If you are found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, we can initiate the plea bargain process to reduce your penalties or obtain a lighter sentence. Contact us today for the dedicated, comprehensive legal representation you need to approach your case with confidence.