Bank fraud involves receiving assets from a financial institution through the use of deception. Bank fraud can also be the attempt to do these things. If a person commits bank fraud in Texas, this could refer to a number of different actions. For example, the person might have stolen or forged checks, set up a fake financial institution to take people's deposits or taken out a fraudulent loan.
Bank fraud, usually considered a white-collar crime, differs from bank robbery in that it is done secretly. It may happen online or offline. Counterfeiting, identity theft and automatic payment systems fraud are all crimes associated with bank fraud. The U.S. Secret Service investigates these types of crimes. Local law enforcement and bank fraud investigators who work for financial institutions may also investigate them. However, bank fraud is usually considered a federal crime because the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation protects bank deposits.
Committing bank fraud can result in up to 30 years in prison and fines of as much as $1 million. However, for lesser charges, the prison sentence could be 5 to 10 years, or there might be probation and restitution. In one case, a man who made fake loan requests that were approved by a co-conspirator in the bank and transferred offshore was sentenced to 27 months in prison and had to pay $1 million in restitution.
People who are facing charges for federal crimes may want to contact an attorney. These types of charges can be serious, but there might be avenues of defense or ways to get a sentence reduced. For example, some people may have acted at the direction of an employer and not knowingly set out to defraud. Another possibility is a plea bargain. This is a deal with the prosecution that involves pleading guilty in exchange for a lighter sentence.