When someone knowingly executes or attempts to execute a plan that defrauds a financial institution or obtains the money, credit, funds or property owned or under the control of a financial institution by using fraudulent means or by using fraudulent misrepresentation, they may find themselves facing bank fraud charges. These charges carry with them serious penalties, including a fine that is no more than $1,000,000, and could include imprisonment of up to 30 years.
These are the penalties that 13 people from Ohio may be facing as they have been charged with committing bank fraud and conspiracy to commit bank fraud. According to authorities, financial institutions have lost around $150,000 through their scheme.
According to the U.S. Attorney for Ohio's southern district, the group has been conspiring since last August to negotiate checks and money orders unlawfully from mail collection boxes. Allegedly, some of the accused worked with the Postal Service and gave or sold property to others, allowing them to steal checks and money orders. Others cashed the checks and money orders at ATMs and through applications.
The group has been indicted by a federal grand jury and the criminal justice system moves fast when indictments are involved as the jury has already reviewed evidence and determined that there is enough to proceed with the case. It is essential to work on an aggressive defense quickly and it may be beneficial to consult an experienced white-collar criminal lawyer as soon as possible for guidance on how to protect one's future.