What Is Considered Bank Fraud? – Omaha Criminal Defense Lawyer

bank fraud nebraska“Bank fraud” is a broad term that refers to stealing from a financial institution by using deceptive or fraudulent means. This is a very serious crime.

Frequently, people charged with defrauding a bank face federal charges.

Even if the “feds” don’t indict you, facing bank fraud charges in a Nebraska state court is also a serious legal matter.

The possible penalties you face are incredibly harsh if convicted of bank fraud. 

It would be best if you did not trust your defense to a lawyer who lacks experience winning tough cases.

Nebraska criminal defense attorney Tom Petersen has over 6,000 cases under his belt since he founded Petersen Criminal Defense Law in 1995. He has the experience you can rely on.

Types of Frauds in Banks

According to 18 U.S.C. 1344, bank fraud occurs when a person knowingly executes or attempts to execute a scheme or artifice intended to defraud a financial institution or obtain money, funds, credits, assets, securities, or other types of property from a financial institution by false pretenses or promises.

A scheme or artifice to defraud is an attempt to deprive another of the intangible right of honest services. 

The potential sentence for bank fraud is exceptionally severe. There is no bank fraud minimum sentence.

But a conviction allows a federal judge to sentence the offender to up to 30 years in prison and assess up to a $1,000,000 fine.

Securities and Commodities Fraud

When you think of a financial institution, you might immediately think of your local bank or credit union.

They are financial institutions, but so are banks that deal in stocks, bonds, and other securities. Consequently, securities and commodities fraud is a type of bank fraud. 

According to 18 U.S.C. 1348, anyone who knowingly executes or attempts to execute a scheme or artifice to defraud anyone in connection with securities—or obtains any money or property connected to the sale of securities by false representations, deception, or under false pretenses—commits securities or commodities fraud.

The penalty for securities fraud is a maximum penalty of 25 years in federal prison and a fine of no more than $1,000,000.

With respect to federal offenses, it is important to note that a person guilty of an attempt to commit fraud or conspiracy to defraud a financial institution is subject to the same penalty as if that person acted as the principal or completed the offense. 

Bank Fraud Under State Law

Nebraska’s criminal law does not have a charge like the federal bank fraud law.

However, Nebraska’s criminal statutes list offenses that would fall under the broad category of financial institution fraud. 

Passing or drafting a bad check is a crime.

The classification of offense for issuing a bad check to obtain property, services, or child support credit when the account has insufficient funds ranges from a Class IIA felony to a Class II misdemeanor.

The ultimate penalty depends on the value of the property fraudulently obtained. Passing a bad check to get money is a Class II misdemeanor, but a person convicted of a second or subsequent misdemeanor offense faces a Class IV felony.

You might wonder why “bouncing a check” is such a serious offense, especially when people seem to bounce checks all the time. The difference is intent.

Making an honest mistake is not a criminal offense. Writing a check when you have insufficient funds in your account is a crime only when you know you do not have sufficient funds to cover the draft. 

Under Nebraska law, writing a check on a closed or non-existent account is a crime. The penalties are essentially the same as drafting or passing a bad check.

There are other bank fraud examples under Nebraska law.

Some examples of defrauding a bank include impersonating someone else to get a loan, forging and uttering checks, possessing a forged instrument, manufacturing fake checks, or stealing checks from another.

Experienced State and Federal Defense Lawyer

For over 25 years, criminal defense lawyer Tom Petersen has fought to protect the rights of over 6,000 clients.

You can rely on his experience to help you develop the best defense strategy for your case. Regardless of your charges, Tom won’t judge you, and he won’t lecture you.

He’ll fight relentlessly for you instead. Contact Petersen Criminal Defense Law at 402-509-8070

Tom Petersen
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