Hire a Bank Fraud Attorney for Your Defense

Instances of bank and mortgage fraud are on the rise. These federal crimes carry steep penalties if you are found guilty. You can face expensive fines and spend years in prison.

If you are facing a charge of bank or mortgage fraud, hire a bank fraud attorney from the Zoukis Consulting Group. Our specialized lawyers will help you navigate the system and protect your rights.

What Is Bank Fraud?

Bank fraud occurs when false information, misrepresentation, or deception is used to steal from any financial institution or bank. The perpetrator fraudulently obtains money, property, or other assets held by the financial institution. 

Financial institutions are more than just banks. They also include any federally insured institution such as:

  • Credit unions
  • Federal Reserve
  • Mortgage Lenders
  • Any financial institution that has assets or accepts deposits
  • Generally, any institution insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)

Bank Fraud vs. Bank Robbery

Bank fraud differs from the crime of bank robbery. Bank fraud uses deception. It’s not done through threatening workers or by violent means. Perpetrators of bank fraud never need to step foot in a bank or financial institution.

Bank fraud is a criminal offense. Since financial institutions have protection at the federal level, bank fraud can be a federal offense.

Federal or state charges are dependent on the type of bank fraud and the location where the crime took place. A bank fraud lawyer can guide you through any of your criminal charges. 

Common Types of Bank Fraud

It’s hard to put bank fraud into succinct categories because the crime is so broadly defined. 

As new technologies emerge, so do new forms of bank fraud. However, there are some types of bank fraud that are more common than others.

Credit Card Fraud and Check Fraud

The most common form of bank fraud occurs with credit cards and checks. This type of fraud is probably what comes to mind when you think of bank fraud. 

Credit card fraud and check fraud happen frequently. It includes stealing credit card numbers and using them to make purchases. 

Forging a signature on a check to make a deposit or get cash is a form of check fraud. Check fraud is as simple as adding a ‘0’ to a $50 check to make it $500.

Check kiting is another common form of bank fraud. Check kiting is when you make a payment by check despite knowing that your account does not have the adequate funds to pay the amount owed. 

Phishing and Internet Bank Fraud

With the technological advances of the internet came new ways to commit bank fraud. Internet bank fraud involves any internet activity that deceives individuals into sending payments to fake institutions. 

Examples include creating a fake email that looks legitimate. The perpetrator designs an email or website to look like it’s from your bank. Instead, they send you to a fake site. Then they trick you into sending them payments.

Mortgage Fraud

Mortgage fraud is a subtype of bank fraud. This fraud occurs by purposefully submitting false information or omitting information while applying for a mortgage. 

Both borrowers and lenders are capable of committing mortgage fraud. Anyone facing mortgage fraud should hire a mortgage fraud lawyer.

Main Types of Mortgage Fraud

There are two main types of mortgage fraud. 

Fraud for Profit

Workers of the industry commonly commit mortgage fraud: bank officers, mortgage brokers, appraisers, loan originators, and more.

Anyone that uses their experience and insider knowledge to misuse the mortgage process and steal equity or cash from lenders or borrowers.

Fraud for profit has no interest in helping to secure housing. The sole purpose of fraud for profit is to steal money. The FBI makes this type of mortgage fraud their highest priority.

Fraud for Housing or Property

This type of fraud is any fraudulent action by the borrower to obtain a new home or property. Or to maintain ownership of a current home or other property. 

This includes lying about or misrepresenting your income or other monetary assets on your mortgage application or persuading an appraiser to adjust the value of a property. 

The fraud is perpetrated for the borrower to have more favorable loan conditions. Or to qualify for a mortgage they would otherwise not get approved.

Penalties for Committing Bank or Mortgage Fraud

Bank and mortgage fraud are serious crimes that have harsh legal consequences. Bank and mortgage fraud are both charged as felony offenses.

You may be charged with bank fraud by the state at a local level. If the crime spans state lines, it qualifies as federal bank fraud.

Federal charges mean you’ll face stiffer penalties. If you’re found guilty of committing bank fraud, you’ll face fines of up to $1 million, and you could face a jail sentence of up to 30 years.

Getting Charged with Bank or Mortgage Fraud

Bank and mortgage fraud are more likely to be prosecuted now, in the years since the 2008 financial crisis. If you have received a charge of bank fraud, you will need to hire a specialized bank fraud lawyer.

A serious offense like federal mortgage fraud could send you to jail for decades if convicted. A mortgage fraud attorney can defend you in court. Bank and mortgage fraud are federal offenses that you shouldn’t take lightly.

In either case, call the Zoukis Consulting Group for expert criminal defense against your bank or mortgage fraud charges.

Schedule your consultation today.