Bank Fraud Defense
The federal crime of bank fraud carries steep penalties, and the breadth of the federal bank fraud statutes allows for prosecution under a broad range of scenarios. If you are under investigation or facing charges, you need to speak with a federal criminal defense lawyer immediately.
What does it mean to be charged with “bank fraud” under federal law? As is the case with many federal crimes, there is not one simple answer to this question. The federal bank fraud statute, 18 U.S.C. § 1344, is extraordinarily broad in scope, and various other federal statutes contain language that allows for the prosecution of fraud-related offenses involving financial institutions in tandem with the filing of charges under 18 U.S.C. § 1344.
Most federal bank fraud cases begin with an investigation involving the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations (IRS-CI), or another federal law enforcement agency. Typically, if not reported by the bank itself, allegations of bank fraud usually come from individuals who have information about alleged crimes, and who often have something to gain from reporting allegations to the federal government. However, bank fraud investigations can be triggered by the review of tax filings and other records as well; and, when facing a bank fraud investigation, determining the source and nature of the allegations against you is one of the first steps toward building a successful defense.
Federal Defense Lawyers and Former Agents for Bank Fraud Investigations and Charges
At Oberheiden P.C., we represent individuals facing federal bank fraud allegations and who have been charged with bank fraud under 18 U.S.C. § 1344 and other federal laws nationwide. Our clients include individuals who are accused of hacking into financial institutions’ servers; individuals who are accused of check fraud, credit card fraud, and identity theft; bank personnel who are accused of using their positions for personal financial gain; and individuals who are accused of defrauding financial institutions through other means.
Our attorneys and defense consultants include former federal prosecutors and investigative agents. When you choose Oberheiden P.C., you will have the following experience on your side:
- Decades of prior experience as a Senior Trial Attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)
- Decades of prior experience as U.S. Attorneys and Assistant U.S. Attorneys
- Decades of prior experience as FBI Special Agents and Supervisory Special Agents
- Decades of prior experience with IRS-CI and other federal law enforcement agencies
With potential penalties including up to a $1,000,000 fine and 30 years of federal imprisonment for a single bank fraud charge, you cannot afford to trust your case to inexperienced counsel. If you are under investigation or facing charges for federal bank fraud, call 888-680-1745 now to put our federal defense attorneys’ and former federal agents’ centuries of combined experience on your side.
What Constitutes Bank Fraud Under Federal Law?
The primary federal bank fraud statute is 18 U.S.C. § 1344, and federal prosecutors at the DOJ and U.S. Attorney’s Office routinely pursue charges against individuals under this statute. Section 1344 states:
“Whoever knowingly executes, or attempts to execute, a scheme or artifice—(1) to defraud a financial institution; or (2) to obtain any of the moneys, funds, credits, assets, securities, or other property owned by, or under the custody or control of, a financial institution, by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises shall be fined not more than $1,000,000 or imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both.”
As set forth in the DOJ’s Criminal Resource Manual, “[t]he institutions protected by the statute are those chartered under the laws of the United States or insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, . . . or the National Credit Union Administration.” This covers essentially all banks and other financial institutions operating on U.S. soil.
Crucially, as also noted in the Criminal Resource Manual, 18 U.S.C. § 1344, “is modeled directly after the mail fraud statute.” The mail fraud statute, 18 U.S.C. § 1341, is also extraordinarily broad in scope, and it too is used to pursue charges in a broad range of cases. Rather than requiring any specific form of conduct, both Section 1341 and 1344 allow for prosecution where it can simply be shown that the defendant knowingly engaged in any type of fraudulent activity or conduct.
In addition to 18 U.S.C. § 1344, certain types of bank fraud can also be prosecuted under 18 U.S.C. § 1006 and 18 U.S.C. § 2113. As stated in the DOJ’s Criminal Resource Manual, “[t]he general bank fraud statute [18 U.S.C. § 1344] should be viewed as a supplement to, rather than a substitute for, other criminal provisions relating to fraud perpetrated on insured financial institutions.”
Section 1006 applies to anyone who is an, “officer, agent or employee of or [who is otherwise] connected in any capacity,” with a financial institution. Section 2113 applies in cases involving physical intrusions, intimidation, and extortion. Both of these statutes carry the potential for substantial fines and two to three decades of federal imprisonment, and charges can be filed under one or both of these statutes in addition to being filed under Section 1344.
What are Some Examples of Illegal Acts that Constitute Bank Fraud?
Given the broad nature of the federal bank fraud statutes, understanding what specific types of illegal acts constitute bank fraud requires an in-depth understanding of federal case law and the DOJ’s history of prosecuting these cases. At Oberheiden P.C., we have extensive experience on both sides of federal bank fraud prosecutions, and our attorneys and former agents are available to represent individuals who are facing allegations including (but not limited to):
- Hacking financial institutions’ networks and breaching data security protocols
- Hacking individual consumers’ and businesses’ bank accounts
- Making fraudulent use of shell companies and other legal structures
- Using inside information or a position of employment to defraud a bank or other financial institution
- Theft of bank-held funds and gaining access to bank-held funds through other illegal means
- Credit card fraud, check fraud, and bank account fraud
- Identity theft and submission of false or fraudulent information to financial institutions
These and other acts can lead to charges for bank fraud under 18 U.S.C. § 1344, and potentially under 18 U.S.C. § 1006 and 18 U.S.C. § 2113 as well. They can also lead to charges for mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering, tax evasion, and various other federal crimes. When facing an investigation or indictment, it is imperative to ensure that you have a clear understanding of all of the allegations against you so that you can structure a comprehensive, cohesive, and effective defense.
Why Do Individuals Facing Federal Bank Fraud Charges Choose Oberheiden P.C.?
As a federal criminal defense law firm with a nationwide presence, we represent clients across the country who are facing bank fraud allegations. Here are five of the reasons why company owners, professionals, and other individuals choose Oberheiden P.C.:
1. We Focus on Federal Defense
Our firm’s practice is primarily devoted to federal defense, with particular emphasis on white-collar criminal cases. We represent clients at all stages of the federal prosecution process, from investigation through appeal.
2. Our Attorneys are Former Federal Prosecutors
Many of our attorneys are former federal prosecutors with the DOJ and the U.S. Attorney’s Office. This prior experience gives us first-hand knowledge of how and when the federal government decides to pursue charges for bank fraud.
3. Our Defense Consultants are Former High-Ranking Federal Agents
In addition to our former federal prosecutors, we also have former high-ranking federal agents who are available to consult on our clients’ cases. With prior experience at the DOJ, FBI, IRS-CI, and other agencies, these individuals offer unique insights for defending against bank fraud allegations.
4. We Work Quickly to Efficiently Secure Pre-Trial Resolutions
While all of our attorneys have extensive trial records, we prioritize securing favorable pre-trial results for our clients. In fact, in most cases we resolve our clients’ cases prior to indictment. Not only does this erase the possibility of an unfavorable result at trial, but it also minimizes the reputational harm caused by the government’s investigation.
5. Our Results Speak for Themselves
Ultimately, clients choose our firm because our results speak for themselves. We have secured favorable results in thousands of federal cases, and we have helped many more clients avoid federal scrutiny through compliance advice and representation.
Are you being investigated by the DOJ, FBI, IRS-CI, or another federal agency in relation to allegations of bank fraud? If so, you do not have time to waste. Contact us 24/7 to speak with one of our senior federal defense attorneys in confidence.
Discuss Your Federal Bank Fraud Case with a Senior Defense Lawyer at Oberheiden P.C.
For more information about what is at stake in a federal bank fraud investigation, the defenses you may have available, and what our federal defense attorneys and former agents can do to help, schedule a complimentary case assessment at Oberheiden P.C. Call us 24/7 at 888-680-1745 to speak with an attorney in confidence, or tell us how to contact you and we will be in touch shortly.