Bank Fraud is the most common theft charge filed in Federal Court. It is often charged in conjunction with Mail Fraud and Wire Fraud. The Secret Service, F.B.I., and sometimes the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office enforcement agencies will bring cases to federal prosecutors for suspected crimes against banks or financial institutions in Jacksonville. If a defendant's actions touch a FDIC-insured bank, a bank fraud charge can be the result. These criminal activities include making false statements to a bank, money laundering, stolen checks, check kiting, theft and counterfeiting of bank cashier's checks, or fraudulent money orders, payroll checks, credit cards, or debit cards.
Defendants can be charged under conspiracy to commit bank fraud, even if they were not involved in the beginning of the scheme but joined later. Bank scheme to defraud need not succeed, and the defendant does not have to actually receive a benefit: only a risk of loss is sufficient. In some cases, an undercover officer may be involved in the scheme, but that officer cannot conduct or illegally encourage behavior that would be considered entrapment.
However, there is an important defense which must be overcome beyond a reasonable doubt by the government. The defendant must have had the intent to defraud the bank. Therefore, if the defendant had intent to victimize a third party and the bank suffered a loss, this is not a violation of the bank fraud statute. There are many examples of bank fraud being overcharged by the federal government, and we have successfully had bank fraud charges dropped against our clients.
If you need help at the investigative stage, after being charged, or on appeal, give the federal criminal defense attorneys at Arnold Law Firm a call regarding your criminal case. We have the experience, knowledge, and expertise to help defend banking fraud cases from simple loan applications to complex, multi-state money laundering enterprises. We are admitted to state and federal courts in Florida and Georgia.