Bank Fraud Jury Verdict Overturned Based On A Lack Of Evidence

White-collar crimes can be some of the most complex and technical cases. In a recent Sixth Circuit case, United States v. Parkes, a businessman – Timothy Parkes – was convicted of 10 counts of bank fraud concerning the making of alleged fraudulent entries in the books of a small bank. However on appeal, the 6th circuit – which includes Michigan – reversed this white-collar crime jury verdict based on a lack of evidence.

If you have are under investigation for or have been charged with a white-collar crime such as fraud or embezzlement, it is important to speak with an experienced fraud lawyer in Michigan to immediately begin preparing your defense. Fraud charges often require in-depth knowledge of complex financial matters in order to investigate and defend. Consulting with a knowledgeable Michigan white-collar crimes defense attorney is important to ensure you get the best defense possible.

In Parkes, the prosecution claimed that the businessman had worked together with the bank president to create fraudulent entries meant to disguise troubled loans. Parkes was indicted for and convicted of ten counts of bank fraud pursuant to 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1344. At trial, in order to prove a violation of bank fraud the prosecution must show beyond a reasonable doubt that (1) the defendant knowingly executed or attempted to execute a scheme to defraud a financial institution; (2) that the defendant did so with the intent to defraud; and (3) that the financial institution was insured by the FDIC.

Parkes alleged on appeal that the no evidence existed at trial that he knowingly executed a scheme to defraud, intended to defraud the bank or even participated in the creation of the bank entries. The Sixth Circuit agreed. The appellate court determined that the lower court improperly excluded a number of key pieces of defense evidence, including the fact that the bank president on his own had made identical fraudulent entries.

Further, the prosecution provided no direct evidence that Parkes was involved in the fraudulent transactions, or sufficient circumstantial evidence showing that he knew about or participated in any way in the president’s fraud.

The Sixth Circuit determined that the amount of evidence introduced at trial was insufficient for a guilty verdict stating “even viewing the record in the light most favorable to the government, there was insufficient evident to connect Parkes to [the bank president’s] fraud, much less to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Parkes intended that fraud.” Based on this conclusion, the court reversed the fraud jury verdict.

White-collar crimes and allegations of fraud or embezzlement are complex and require in-depth knowledge of both legal and accounting principles. If you are facing state or federal fraud charges, obtaining the help of a skilled white-collar defense attorney is necessary to beat the charges against you.

For more information please contact the experienced Michigan fraud defense lawyers at Grabel & Associates for a free, confidential consultation.