Money is a strong driving force for many crimes. Though it may be nonviolent, fraud can leave some people in a very vulnerable place, which is why it is a criminal offense.
It is important for someone who faces criminal charges for fraud to learn what the charge entails. Here are a few important aspects to be aware of.
According to the law, fraud occurs when people obtain funds from financial institutions or accounts through illegal means and without consent. Particularly in regard to bank fraud, this includes a few different activities, such as:
- Stolen checks
- Bank impersonations
- Internet fraud
- Loan fraud
Along with the different ways to commit bank fraud, there are a variety of people who may face the charges. Employees who encounter money due to their positions, such as bank tellers, cashiers, accountants and loan officers may commit bank fraud, as well as other high profile professionals, including currency traders, business executives and company owners. With the continued advancements of the internet, there is also a digital element that encompasses another full gamut of potential people who may commit fraud.
During the trial process, the prosecution will present evidence to try to prove that the defendant knowingly and willingly performed acts that resulted in bank fraud. It is up to the defendant to provide evidence to prove otherwise or cast doubt on the prosecution's argument. If the defendant is able to do either successfully, it may be possible to get the case dismissed. If not, he or she may receive a conviction that can include fines as much as $1,000,000 and up to 30 years in jail.
Because the stakes are so high, it is a good idea for anyone who may face fraud charges to seek the advice of an attorney who has extensive knowledge and experience providing representation in white-collar criminal defense cases.