As identity theft becomes more prevalent, the rise in the number of fraud crimes against banks continues to rise as well.
Bank fraud occurs when a person deliberately uses illegal means to acquire money or assets from a bank or any other financial institution, and the perpetrator keeps the crime a secret. Conversely, bank fraud can also take place when someone poses as a bank and attempts to get money from depositors.
Bank fraud encompasses many types of white collar crimes, some of which include:
- Stolen Checks
- Accounting Fraud
- Fraudulent Loans
- Internet Fraud
- Identity Theft
- ATM Theft
- Credit Card Fraud
- Wire Fraud
- Tax Evasion
Although banks employ their own fraud investigators, local law enforcement agencies are generally involved when a crime has been committed. In some instances, the U.S. Secret Service may also become involved since they are responsible for maintaining the integrity of the U.S. banking system.
Bank fraud is a federal crime because banks are protected by federal statutes. As such, penalties can be particularly harsh, with fines up to $1 million and prison sentences of up to 30 years.
Banks are highly motivated to press charges in cases like these, but they are even more motivated to recover their assets, which can create a negotiating point between a bank fraud attorney representing a defendant and the banking institution.
A defense attorney may also be able to use a couple of other defensestrategies as well.
In some instances, a defendant may be able to use entrapment as a defense, claiming that they had no intent to steal funds from the bank.
A defendant may also claim a lack of knowledge or understanding regarding the source and nature of the stolen funds.
And finally, although it is rare, a defendant can sometimes claim mental incompetence or insanity as a defense.
Cates & Garvey Law Group proudly serves the cities of Phoenix, Scottsdale, Glendale, Tempe, Mesa and surrounding Arizona communities.