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Key facts when facing bank fraud charges

The law treats white collar crimes very seriously, and those convicted of these crimes can face severe penalties.

Anyone who is facing white collar charges should understand certain key facts about these offenses and the trial process.

Bank fraud definition

As a type of fraud, at its essence, bank fraud involves the illegal collection of money or assets without the consent of the party to whom they belong. Someone who commits bank fraud is either defrauding the financial institution itself or seeking to obtain assets that are under the control of a financial institution. There are a few actions that fall under bank fraud:

  • Bank impersonations
  • Fraudulent loans
  • Forgeries
  • Stolen checks
  • Direct deposit fraud
  • Identity theft

Though these are some of the most common types of bank fraud, this is not an exhaustive list. Also, it is important to note that some types of fraud may classify as more than one type of offense.

Court process

The court process begins with an indictment by the United States Attorney's office. It is the federal government prosecuting the case, and the prosecutor must prove that the defendant not only committed or attempted to commit the fraudulent act, but also did so with illegal intent. On the other hand, the defendant has a chance to defend against the fraud charges, and if the defendant can create some doubt in the case, it may be possible to get the charges dropped. 

Penalties

Someone who receives a bank fraud conviction may spend as much as 30 years in prison or have to pay a fine of up to $1 million, or he or she may face both prison time and a fine. The penalties typically also include paying restitution to the institution, entity or individual who suffered financial loss as a result of the fraud. 

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