Bank Fraud Defense
South Carolina Bank Fraud Defense
The South Carolina white collar criminal defense attorneys at Lofton & Lofton are trusted leaders in criminal defense. For over 25 years, we have successfully defeated all types of charges involving white collar crimes, including bank fraud. Our Charleston office provides the highest quality representation in federal and state prosecutions.
The Federal Bank Fraud Statute strictly prohibits the knowing act or attempt to defraud a bank or to acquire any money owned or controlled by a financial institution. To “defraud” a bank means to misrepresent or make false promises with regard to the money in question. The South Carolina Code reflects federal law, with the offense of bank fraud comprising factors that include:
- Intent or attempt to defraud a chartered financial institution such as a:
- FDIC-insured depository bank or credit union
- Federal home loan bank or affiliated member
- Farm Credit and Federal Reserve Banks
- Small business investment company
- Use or concealment of material fact in carrying out scheme
- Actual attempt or execution of plan to defraud bank or
- Obtaining some sort of “value” at time of transaction in question, such as:
- Payment through fraudulent, post-dated, bad check
- Money, service, rent, reoccurring liability, or taxes
- Any credit, assets, funds, securities, or property
An individual may commit bank fraud without making a “material” misrepresentation of fact. Materiality is based on the capacity to influence the unlawful transaction. Any intentional act to deceive, cheat, or deprive a bank for personal financial gain is sufficient to prove an artifice or scheme. The government need not prove the bank’s financial loss if specific intent is shown.
Bank Fraud Sentences
Bank fraud violations and other white collar crimes are severely punished in South Carolina. A conviction for bank or mortgage fraud may result in up to $10,000 in fines and 10 years imprisonment. Under the federal statute, however, convictions may carry up to $1 million in penalties and 30 years imprisonment. A conviction for attempt or conspiracy to commit bank fraud carries the same penalties as the actual crime.
Federal Sentencing Guidelines
Sentencing in federal bank fraud violations is generally governed by statutes setting forth advisory guidelines. Although federal courts are not required to follow these guidelines, they may consider various factors in imposing a sentence, including:
- Nature and circumstance of crime
- Criminal history and character of accused
- Proportionate sentence based on severity of crime
- Need to further certain public policies with regard to sentencing, such as:
- Just punishment without sentence disparities
- Protecting against defendant’s future crimes
- Promoting respect for law and deter crime
- Providing defendant with education, training, medical care, or rehabilitation
- Other guidelines balancing need to impose fair sentence and provide restitution
Sentencing is generally related to the amount of money lost in the alleged conspiracy or scheme. The more money the bank loses, the longer the prison term imposed. An experienced attorney is critical to defending consumers against the potentially life-altering consequences of a bank fraud conviction.
Bank Fraud Protection and Defense
Consumers facing charges or under investigation for bank fraud should seek legal counsel immediately. The South Carolina white collar criminal defense lawyers at Lofton & Lofton can help. Since 1984, we have successfully defeated numerous white collar criminal allegations such as bank fraud, saving clients from large fines and long prison terms. We use our experience to defend your rights and recover your freedom. Call (843) 722-6319 for a consultation or contact us online.
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