Nick Lotito & Seth Kirschenbaum

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Georgia bank fraud charges go to federal court

Seven people have been indicted in a bank fraud scandal that cost the FDIC over $90 million. The fraud charges stem from the bank employees, including its president and CEO, falsifying documents, illegally loaning money to accrue interest payments, and involving other banks in fraudulent deals to cover losses incurred.

As the bank employees schemed to make millions, the bank itself was run into the ground. The FDIC is the insurance company for banks, and when a bank fails, the citizens with investments in the bank have consumer protection from the FDIC. And when a bank has mishandled its assets for the personal gain of individual employees, the FDIC has to step in to cover the missing money.

The charge count for all seven employees is currently at 35 in this federal court case. The charges vary from person-to-person, but all of the arrestees have been charged with bank fraud. To prove a fraud claim, it must be proven that there was a purposeful misrepresentation of a material fact and believing that misrepresentation injured another party.

While federal prosecutors are skilled litigators, someone who has been arrested on fraud charges should focus on the fact that criminal laws frequently have multiple parts, requiring a prosecutor to prove each part beyond a reasonable doubt. If even one part of a criminal statute cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, then the charge cannot lead to a conviction.

With millions of dollars and dozens of charges on the line, this case is likely to spend some time in the court, but a skilled defense attorney will work zealously to represent the clients and help those charged achieve the best result possible.

Source: Atlanta Business Chronicle, "Bank president, six officers indicted for fraud; millions allegedly taken," Carla Caldwell, Jan. 14, 2013

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Nick Lotito & Seth Kirschenbaum

Former Federal Prosecutors

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