Bank fraud may not include intent to defraud a bank

On Behalf of | Feb 20, 2018 | blog, Firm News

Fraud charges are often very difficult to understand, especially considering just how complex our banking systems are in 2018 as opposed to banking even 10 or so years ago. More than ever, we live in an interconnected world, and those interconnections often blur the lines between legal boundaries, giving rise to criminal charges a defendant may not expect.

Bank fraud is a complicated charge that may arise a number of ways. If you or someone you know faces accusations of bank fraud, or criminal charges to that effect, it is important to remain calm and controlled as you assess your options. In many white collar crime cases, it is the behavior of the suspect after he or she receives charges that causes the greatest harm in the long run.

Bank fraud is more possible than you may realize

Let’s say that a law enforcement agency accuses you of bank fraud because you moved funds from someone else’s account into your own. You might object, claiming that you did nothing to defraud the bank, and merely moved the funds between accounts.

Unfortunately, this still may qualify as bank fraud. Near the end of 2016, the Supreme Court ruled that this type of action does qualify as bank fraud, after a person admitted taking funds from another person’s account, but contended he did nothing to defraud the bank holding the funds.

The Supreme Court responded that removing the funds from the account constituted bank fraud because the bank had an interest in investing the funds in the account. Under this structure, the defendant not only defrauded the customer, but also the bank.

Defending your rights

You may find that your alleged actions have a wider reach than you expect. It is always wise to understand your legal rights and the tools you have available before you attempt to build a successful defense.

If you receive fraud charges, or any criminal charges for that matter, it is important to remember that the law enforcement agents you interact with are constantly gathering evidence to support their case. As soon as you receive charges, or believe that you are under investigation, it is wise to consult with an experienced defense attorney who understands these matters at a state and federal level. An attorney may advise you and help you build a defense without fear of facing a subpoena to divulge your conversations.

In contrast, your colleagues and even your family members may have to testify against you in court if you discuss the matter with them. Do not hesitate to protect yourself as soon as you can, for your sake and for those who depend upon you.