Maryland Men Plead Guilty to Bank Fraud Scheme
Fraud is a crime that can encompass a variety of activities. In regards to bank fraud, a person engaging in this crime may use fake IDs, debit cards, checks, money orders, cash withdrawals and other instruments to defraud banks of large sums of money. This was what recently happened when a group of four men engaged in a fraud conspiracy that involved banks from several states.
The four men have all been arrested for bank fraud. Three men were from Maryland, while one was from Virginia. The conspiracy took place over a span of six years, from 2013 to 2019. During that time, the men opened numerous bank accounts and cashed more than 300 counterfeit checks.
The men were involved in card-cracking schemes that illegally netted them $1 million from banks in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. The men would deposit counterfeit checks into other people’s bank accounts and then withdraw cash from the accounts or buy money orders using the accounts’ associated debit cards.
The Maryland men involved were from Hyattsville, Hagerstown and Laurel—two 31-year-old men and one 32-year-old man. The Hyattsville man pled guilty to one count each of bank fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. He faces between two and 30 years in prison. His sentencing is scheduled for June 12.
The other two men pled guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud. Their sentencing is scheduled for June 5.
The other person involved—a 32-year-old man from Virginia—pled guilty to bank fraud charges on February 17. He faces up to 30 years in prison. His sentencing is scheduled for June 19.
Bank Fraud Defenses
Punishment for bank fraud depends on the amount of money stolen. The higher the amount of money, the harsher the penalties. When imposing a sentence, the judge will also look at factors such as the person’s criminal history and the nature of the crime. Because a person can face up to 30 years in prison for bank fraud, a strong defense is of utmost importance.
Lack of intent is a common defense. While the men in this case clearly conspired to carry out the scheme, sometimes a person truly does not know that they are engaging in fraud. They might have deposited a fraudulent check or money order that they thought was good.
Duress is another defense. This means excessive pressure to do something. For example, if someone put a gun to your head and told you to steal money from a bank or else they would harm you or your family, then that would be considered duress.
Contact a Maryland Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
Fraud is an enticing crime for many people because it often yields large amounts of money. In this case, the men were able to defraud banks of $1 million.
Fraud, however, is dishonest and illegal. If you have been accused of such a crime, you could be facing felony charges, which can lead to prison time, fines and other penalties. Protect yourself with help from the Columbia white collar crime lawyers at the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. He can defend you against state and federal charges. Get started with a free consultation. Fill out the online form or call (410) 774-5987.