Bank fraud is potentially punishable with significant jail time. One type of bank fraud that happens frequently is check kiting. This is when someone intentionally writes checks on an account that they know does not have the funds to cover it. The person committing check kiting is taking advantage of the fact that it takes several days to figure out that a check has bounced.
Immediately withdrawing funds against a bad check
Check kiting is not just writing the check. The person is taking the check and depositing it in another bank, knowing full well that the check that they wrote is not covered. They are withdrawing the money for their own use before the bank can figure out that the check has bounced. While banks may restrict withdrawals from accounts that have been newly set up, they have fewer protections when the person already has existing accounts.
This can result in a stiff jail sentence
Check kiting schemes can result in prison sentences up to 20 years. Most charges are felonies, but there is a possibility of misdemeanor charges if the amount involved or the scope is minor. These are difficult charges to defend against since the conduct almost always appears to be intentionally. However, that does not mean that there are no defenses to charges. In addition, a lawyer could help negotiate a plea deal or a cooperation agreement if there were multiple people involved.
These are serious charges, and they should not be addressed alone. If you find yourself being investigated for any form of bank fraud, you should know that the government often tries to make an example out of defendants. An attorney with experience in bank fraud cases is a must to help defend the charges and safeguard your legal rights.