False statements to deceive a financial institution are exactly what they sound like – untrue or ‘less than true’ statements used to deceive a bank or financial institution into a favorable position for the person making the statement. Believe it or not, if you make false statements, or overvalue property, to influence a financial institution, you may be committing a white collar crime

Some examples of when a person may make false statements or overvalue property to influence a financial institution include:

  • Information on applications, such as loans or home mortgages
  • Details of purchase agreements
  • Details of repurchase agreements
  • Commitments
  • Information given for an extension of credit

What Must Be Proven to Find Me Guilty?

Every state varies with how they define this crime, and contacting a local criminal defense attorney should be your first step. Generally, to be found guilty of making false statements or overvaluing property to deceive a financial institution, you must have:

  • Made a false statement or report
  • For the purpose of influencing a financial institution
  • Upon any application, commitment, loan, etc. 

It does not matter if the financial institution actually relied on your false statement or overvaluing, but merely that you intended for them to.

What Is the Penalty for Making False Statements?

The penalties are very serious. If you are found to have made false statements or overvalued property when dealing with a financial institution, you may face up to a 1 million dollar fine, or up to 30 years in prison, or both a fine and imprisonment.

How Can I Avoid Making False Statements or Overvaluing Property?

To prevent accusations against you, it may be a good idea to label your documents "pro forma" or "hypothetical."

Do I Need a Lawyer?

To avoid being accused of making a false statement or overvaluing property to a financial institution, an attorney specializing in white collar crimes can discuss ways to avoid a dispute. A white collar criminal defense lawyer can protect your rights if you have been accused of making false statements or overvalued property to a financial institution.