Financial institution fraud (FIF) is an umbrella term covering schemes and acts of fraud that target retail banks, credit unions, check cashers, stockbrokers, and federally insured financial institutions. Generally, acts of financial institution fraud tend to compromise customer accounts or personally identifiable information, which aids the criminals in committing identity theft and, therefore, other acts of fraud. Due to the extensive financial damage that this type of fraud presents, the FBI and other federal agents and prosecutors make fighting FIF schemes a strategic priority.
For this reason, if you’re suspected of committing fraud, or you have just been arrested, you need to contact a financial institution fraud attorney who has experience in federal cases. Our criminal defense attorneys at Grabel & Associates have successfully helped many clients with their federal crimes cases, and we are confident that we can help you too. To discuss the details of your case, call our federal crimes law office at 1-800-342-7896.
Because banks, credit unions, and many other institutions are federally insured, there are several victims for every instance of fraud, including the financial institution, the institution’s customers or clients, and the U.S. government. Also known as bank fraud, this federal crime is defined by 18 U.S. Code § 1344, and according to the law, financial institution fraud occurs when an individual uses executes a scheme “to obtain any of the moneys, funds, credits, assets, securities, or other property owned by, or under the custody or control of, a financial institution, by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises.”
These types of schemes may occur either externally or internally, and some examples of FIF schemes can include, but are not limited to:
External FIF schemes — stolen or counterfeit checks, account holder impersonation, misuse or unauthorized use of debit cards (or other access devices), credit card scams, and email hacking that leads to a financial loss (or theft of personally identifiable information).
Internal FIF schemes — embezzlement, misapplication of funds, general ledger fraud, account takeover, and collusions with external fraudsters
In many cases, teams of individuals and criminal rings commit financial institution fraud, and often, there are numerous individuals implicated in the fraud scheme.
Mortgage fraud is a common and widespread sub-category of financial institution fraud. This type of fraud scheme typically involves a misrepresentation, misstatement, or omission that influences a bank’s decision about a mortgage. The fraudsters knowingly enact a deceptive scheme to get the bank to approve a loan, accept a reduce payoff amount, or agree to modified repayment terms. Following the housing market collapse, the FBI and other federal agents have grown substantially diligent and severe when it comes to investigating and prosecuting mortgage fraud schemes.
When it comes to mortgage fraud, there are two types of common schemes, including:
As with most cases of financial fraud, the punishments are highly dependent upon the circumstances surrounding the crime or the ethical violation. Nonetheless, 18 U.S. Code § 1344 states that individuals convicted of bank fraud can be looking at fines of up to $1,000,000 and/or imprisonment for up to 30 years. Additionally, if convicted of this crime, the offender will face the lifelong consequences of being a felon.
The U.S. government takes extra measures to maintain the value and integrity of the financial industry, and because of this, individuals charged with financial institution fraud are prosecuted with sweeping severity. Whether you are suspected of or under investigation for fraud, or you have been arrested, you need to act quickly and contact a prominent, aggressive, and diligent team of criminal defense attorneys to fight for your freedom and protect your rights.
With years of successful cases defending fraud charges, our attorneys know that prosecutors have the burden of proof, and we will tirelessly and aggressively confront the prosecution’s narrative and evidence with our own evidence as well as industry-leading arguments designed around the unique circumstances of your case. If you’ve been charged with fraud contact our federal crimes law office immediately by dialing 1-800-342-7896 today.