The harsh economic climate of the past year and a half has created challenges for millions of Americans, leading some to make questionable financial decisions in order to get by. Accusations of bank fraud can arise out of an individual’s attempts to find loopholes or circumvent rules in order to get the best angle on beating the system.
A rise in financial fraud has led to sky-rocketing costs to the industry to pay for fraud detection measures against check, debit car and electronic payment fraud losses. In 2018, bank deposit account fraud, up 24% from 2016, stood at $25.1 billion, which does not include expenses incurred for detection, investigation and prosecution of deposit account fraud.
Bank fraud accusations can lead to serious charges in Texas, both at the federal and state level. Many charges fall under the category of fraud, so it is essential to have a comprehensive knowledge of the terminology used in the financial industry when building a defense, as well as tactics that are effective in deflecting accusations.
For those whose lives are being disrupted by an ongoing investigation or charges of white collar crime, the stakes are too high not to seek sound and effective legal counsel that will work for the best possible outcome in every case.
What is involved with bank fraud charges?
Bank fraud is defined as the illegal attempt to secure funds, property or other assets held in a bank. Related charges can include trade or accounting fraud, in which the financial institution or someone representing it falsifies information in order to create the appearance that it seems secure and able to receive funds or investments from a third party.
Bank fraud at the federal level is pursued through the FBI, the office of the U.S. Attorney or other agency and defined under 18 U.S. Code §1344, which lists strict penalties that can include up to $1 million for each charge and as much as 30 years in prison on conviction.
The penalties at the state level for misdemeanor and felony convictions for identity theft, embezzlement, or credit card, check or money order fraud include long prison sentences and severe fines as well.
What is the best defense against fraud charges?
In order for fraud charges to stick, the prosecution must show that the defendant knowingly and intentionally deceived another party by making false statements that that party relied on, causing them financial harm as a result. The bar for proving criminal intent beyond a reasonable doubt is extremely high in a fraud case, so often charges are dismissed or penalties reduced with an effective defense strategy.