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What is bank fraud and what are possible defense strategies?

On Behalf of | Mar 22, 2024 | Federal Crimes

Bank fraud is a serious crime that can result in devastating consequences. If you live in Florida or anywhere in the United States, it’s crucial to understand what constitutes bank fraud and the potential legal ramifications of this kind of misconduct.

Having a clear explanation of federal bank fraud and familiarizing yourself with possible defense strategies can help ensure you know the best course of action if you ever face such charges.

What is bank fraud?

Federal bank fraud, as defined in 18 U.S.C. § 1344, prohibits any attempt to execute a scheme to defraud a financial institution knowingly. Essentially, the crime entails obtaining money, funds, credit, assets or securities from a financial institution through false pretenses. Bank fraud can encompass a wide range of activities, including submitting false loan applications, using stolen checks or credit cards, engaging in check-kiting schemes or making false statements to secure loans or lines of credit.

The potential penalties of bank fraud

Being convicted of bank fraud is a felony offense that carries hefty penalties. These penalties can include steep fines and long prison sentences. The judge overseeing a fraud case may also order restitution. This is essentially being ordered to repay the defrauded financial institution.

Possible defense strategies for bank fraud charges

If you are facing bank fraud charges in Florida, it’s critical to familiarize yourself with criminal defense options that could work in your case. The most lucrative defense strategy is arguing a lack of intent. The burden of proof lies with the prosecution; they must prove that you intended to defraud the bank. Therefore, the defense team may argue that you did not have the necessary criminal intent.

Another possible defense strategy is claiming a mistake of fact. Perhaps you unknowingly provided inaccurate information. If this was an honest mistake, it could be a strong defense. Moreover, if you were forced to commit bank fraud under threat of violence or harm, this could be grounds for dismissal.

Consult a bank fraud attorney to discuss your specific situation and explore the best course of action. This way, you can better safeguard your interests and place yourself in a strong position to make informed decisions moving forward.