In a decades-old case that’s been around the world and back to California, a local businessman and former car dealership owner was charged with the federal crime of bank fraud. The man had been hiding from the FBI since the late 1980s, but returned and was arrested by federal agents while on a layover at Los Angeles International Airport. The Los Angeles Daily News reports that, after pleading guilty to the charges against him, the man will face sentencing in December. He could face up to 79 years’ imprisonment and over $6 million in fines, demonstrating how severe the penalties can be for being convicted of the federal crime of bank fraud. If you’ve been charged with a similar offense, here’s what you need to know.
Bank Fraud Defined
An illegal act where you deceive a financial institution into transferring money or other assets is termed bank fraud. The crime involves a scheme or scam into obtaining value, so it’s not the same as robbing a bank by using force. Any institution that is federally insured, which accepts money for deposits, is an institution for purposes of the law. Stolen checks, check kiting, forgery, and misstating assets on financial documents may constitute bank fraud, depending on the circumstances. In the case of the recent LA case, the accused had been lying to banks on loan documents, forging signatures, and covering up problems with car buyers accounts.
San Diego Criminal Theft Defense Attorney
Defenses in a Bank Fraud Case: Most bank fraud statutes require the state to prove that a defendant acted “knowingly,” meaning that the defendant was aware that he or she was making false representations for the purpose of obtaining something of value. For example, someone who presents a fraudulent check to a bank while believing it to be genuine, perhaps after receiving it from someone who did intend to commit fraud, should not be guilty of bank fraud. The procedure for presenting defenses often involves pretrial motions to suppress evidence or argue constitutional rights violations.
Penalties for Conviction in a Bank Fraud Case: Depending on the nature of the crime and the circumstances of your case, prosecuting attorneys can charge you with a misdemeanor or a felony. If convicted, you could face:
· Misdemeanor Charges: A judge or jury may sentence you up to one year in prison, with a maximum fine of $1,000.
· Felony Charges: If found guilty at trial, you can be sentenced 16 months to several years in prison. You might also be forced to pay up to $10,000 in fines.
All federal crimes are serious matters, which can lead to lengthy prison terms and huge fines if you’re convicted in court. However, there are certain defenses available and there may be factors that can reduce or eliminate the severe penalties. You need a knowledgeable attorney with extensive experience in federal crimes in order to represent your interests. To increase your chances of a favorable result, please contact a qualified criminal attorney in San Diego who can help you negotiate with prosecutors in a California federal crimes case.
Ozols Law Firm
8880 Rio San Diego Dr. #22
San Diego, CA,