Bank fraud is a white-collar crime. It can happen at any level, but most often, it becomes a federal offense when you find yourself facing charges.
Cornell Law School explains there are two ways to commit bank fraud. What this means is that the prosecution must prove you committed one of these types of the crime to get a conviction and prove your guilt. Remember that you are innocent until the prosecutor proves you are guilty in a court of law and the court rules against your innocence.
The first option the prosecutor has is to show that you committed fraud against a financial institution. This may be a bank, creditor or other institution that provides funding or financial services. You could face charges for fraud against a bank directly or against a lender, such as a student loan provider. These are both financial institutions.
The other option the prosecutor has is to show your actions were fraudulent and involved money. Under this umbrella is making false promises or creating fake agreements. It could be almost anything that you do to obtain money through means that are not legitimate. Scams and schemes to steal money from a financial institution fall under this category. Keep in mind that because the crime is bank fraud, it must always involve a financial institution. Crimes against individuals or other types of businesses fall under other statutes.
In general, if you do anything to secure money through means that are not above board and you involve a financial institution, it is bank fraud under federal law.