Bank Theft, Embezzlement

Legal Brief

Bank Theft, Embezzlement

BANK THEFT AND EMBEZZLEMENT

By John Teakell

Attorney-at-Law

Dallas, Texas

Thefts and embezzlements from banks are often prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in federal court, although the dollar amounts sometimes are lower than a federal criminal case might involve. This is especially true if the allegation concerns a bank teller or lower lever employee, who may not be able to access larger amounts of money during the ordinary course of employment. The opposite would be a bank officer who engaged in transactions or withdrawals from lines of credit without authorization when the loss amount may be a high-five figure amount (e.g., $90,000) or a six-figure amount (e.g. $500,000).

The federal stature governing this conduct, Title 18 U.S. Code §656 reads:

Whoever, being an officer, director, agent or employee of, or connected in any capacity with any Federal Reserve bank, member bank, depository institution holding company, national bank, insured bank, branch or agency of a foreign bank, or organization operating under section 25 or section 25(a) [1]of the Federal Reserve Act, or a receiver of a national bank, insured bank, branch, agency, or organization or any agent or employee of the receiver, or a Federal Reserve Agent, or an agent or employee of a Federal Reserve Agent or of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, embezzles, abstracts, purloins or willfully misapplies any of the moneys, funds or credits of such bank, branch, agency, or organization or holding company or any moneys, funds, assets or securities intrusted to the custody or care of such bank, branch, agency, or organization, or holding company or to the custody or care of any such agent, officer, director, employee or receiver, shall be fined not more than $1,000,000 or imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both; but if the amount embezzled, abstracted, purloined or misapplied does not exceed $1,000, he shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.