18 USC 1344
The federal bank fraud statute is designed to protect banks. Banks are obviously the fabric of our federal system and any manipulation or tampering with banks or their money will obviously be met with harsh consequences. The federal prosecutors and federal agents like the FBI are tasked with protecting our banks, their assets, and it is crucial that anybody who is charged with federal bank fraud allegations gets an experienced federal criminal defense attorney to help them.
Really what’s going on is that Section 1344 of the United States Code is designed to protect banks from fraudulent schemes. Anyone trying to perpetrate some sort of a scheme against a bank – obviously in order to get money from the bank – is going to be prosecuted under this particular Code Section. Another angle that can be used to prosecute under bank fraud laws is that basically, someone is trying to obtain money or securities or some other thing of value that the federal government holds under false pretenses. In other words, they’re using a false name. They’re getting money through false means by for example, stealing somebody’s information in order to get federal money through the bank, through loans or through other means.
If another individual is attempting to gain money by false pretenses and there’s a connection to a bank, then that person can be criminally prosecuted and be facing up to thirty years in federal prison, significant fines, probation and other terms and conditions that a court might deem appropriate. When it comes to misrepresentations to a bank, obviously those misrepresentations have to be serious enough to be able to trigger the federal bank laws. In other words, the misrepresentations or the false pretenses or the scheme must be material. It can’t just be some small thing that really doesn’t have any significance and the government can’t prove that the person was trying to obtain money or some other credit by false pretenses.
When you talk about the materiality of whatever the scheme is or whatever the false pretenses are, they are going to look at really what you did and then use a common-sense approach to see whether or not you have committed bank fraud or whether or not you have just made a simple honest mistake that doesn’t deserve to be prosecuted at the federal level.
Learn Some Defenses Related To Federal Bank Fraud – 18 USC 1344
One defense that is always available in a federal bank fraud case – not only in Los Angeles, California – but across the United States in any of the federal courts – is that you basically had an innocent intent. You weren’t trying to defraud out of money. You weren’t trying to commit some sort of a plan or scheme. When we do these bank fraud cases, one of the first things we’re looking at is, what was the person trying to do? How would the person benefit from whatever it is the government was claiming that they did that was fraudulent and was designed to try to get government money in an illegal manner? Because again, if you have an innocent intent and we can show that you had an innocent intent, then you would have an argument that you were not guilty of any type of a bank fraud scheme or plan.
Examples of situations where somebody could be charged with bank fraud and successfully prosecuted are those people who work at a bank and are helping their friends out or somehow giving a benefit to somebody that that benefit somehow comes back to them. In other words, let’s say that somebody works as a loan processor and they give a friend or somebody they know a loan that normally shouldn’t get it because they don’t have the credit and the money to be able to get that, and then they get a piece of the money back from the friend or person that they know, in exchange for helping them. That would obviously be bank fraud because you have a plan. It’s not legal. It’s against the bank’s policies and somebody’s getting money and you’re getting money.
So, there’re all sorts of different plans that I’ve defended over the course of the last twenty-five years in defending these bank fraud cases, and really what you need to do is huddle up with somebody like me who has the experience and has handled these bank fraud cases – not only throughout Los Angeles, California – but throughout the nation and really get down to the nitty-gritty of what you did, what you didn’t do, and what the government can prove and what they can’t prove. Then you will be in a position to really evaluate your case and decide what the next best move is.
For more information on Federal Bank Fraud In California, a free initial consultation is your best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (213) 542-0994 today.