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How may false statements made to a bank become a federal offense?

| Jul 8, 2021 | Fraud

If you provide inaccurate information during a transaction with a financial institution you may arouse suspicions of bank fraud. As shown by reporting in the Amarillo Globe-News, you may face federal charges if you submit false statements to an FDIC-insured bank and a U.S. Attorney convinces a grand jury you did so knowingly.

If you submit purportedly false statements on behalf of a business as its owner or employee, you may face allegations of having committed a federal offense. As reported by the Texas Standard, administrative-level employees such as office managers may also face charges when business owners involve their companies in financial misrepresentations. 

How may federal authorities become involved in an investigation?

Based on 2019 figures, the FDIC insured more than 4,500 U.S. banks. Suspicions of fraud raised by any of these financial institutions may lead to an investigation by federal agencies such as the FBI or the Criminal Investigation Division of the IRS.

As described on the FBI’s website, these crimes represent financially motivated violations of a relationship of trust. The FBI also notes that this set of federal offenses does not require threats of violence or physical force to qualify for investigation. 

How may the Responsible Corporate Officer doctrine apply?

As described by Cornell Law School, the RCO doctrine presumes that companies’ high-ranking officers have an awareness of the wrongdoing their organizations purportedly engage in. A prosecutor may pursue charges involving both administrative employees and a company’s officers.

To convict an individual or a business on charges of bank fraud, prosecutors need to prove an intent existed to obtain the financial institution’s property through false statements. If you are a corporate officer, owner or involved employee, you may face federal charges related to your organization’s alleged wrongdoing.

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