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What is bank fraud?

Many different types of criminal charges strike New Jersey residents as unfamiliar, most times simply because they sound like "legalese." Fraud is probably one of them. Many New Jersey residents, and, indeed, most people in general, probably don't know what all a criminal charge for fraud entails. This is even more so the case when it comes down to a specific form of fraud, like bank fraud.

So, what is bank fraud? Well, like most forms of fraud it involves a false presentation of oneself for the purpose of securing someone else's money or property. In the case of bank fraud, the criminal charge is usually filed on the federal level.

As the charge's name implies, this specific form of fraud is charged when the alleged perpetrator targets a financial institution. However, it doesn't have to be a bank exactly, as there are many different forms of financial institutions that would probably qualify under this specific charge. And, the targeted property doesn't have to be just money, as almost anything that is considered to be an "asset" - even including securities or credit - can qualify under this charge.

Being charged with a false representation that secures someone else's property from a financial institution - bank fraud - can land a New Jersey resident in a federal penitentiary for a long time. In fact, the federal statute covering this charge lists the exact range of sentence a defendant can expect to face upon conviction: up to 30 years and a fine of up to $1,000,000. For a New Jersey resident facing this type of charge in federal court, the stakes are obviously quite high, and a strong fraud and theft crime defense strategy will be needed.

Source:, "18 U.S. Code ยง 1344 - Bank fraud," accessed on Oct. 3, 2014

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