Supreme Court Upholds Broad Reach Of Bank Fraud Law

Dec 12, 2016

 

 

In this March 23, 2015 file photo, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. Breyer rejected an attorney's claim that a federal bank fraud law applies only when a defendant intends to cheat the bank itself, rather than a customer.
Credit Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

The Supreme Court is upholding the broad reach of a federal law prohibiting bank fraud.

The unanimous ruling on Monday came in the case of a California man who illegally siphoned about $307,000 out of a Taiwanese businessman's Bank of America bank account.

Justice Stephen Breyer rejected Lawrence Shaw's claim that the law applies only when a defendant intends to cheat the bank itself — not a bank customer. Breyer said the bank has property interests in the customer's account and that Shaw misled the bank to steal the customer's money.

The justices sent the case back to a lower court to decide whether the jury instructions in Shaw's case were correct.