Published on: Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Yesterday, the Supreme Court issued an opinion in Loughrin v. United States (No. 13-316), interpreting the provision of the federal bank fraud statute, 18 U.S. C. §1344(2), that prohibits a knowing scheme to obtain property owned by, or in the custody of, a bank "by means of false of fraudulent pretense, representations, or promises."  The Court unanimously held that this provision does not require proof of specific intent to deceive a bank. Petitioner could therefore be convicted under the statute for passing altered checks to obtain merchandise and cash from retailers.  For an analysis of the opinion see this SCOTUSblog post

The Court also granted certiorari in Whitfield v. United States (No. 13-9026) to decide whether 18 U.S.C. § 2113(e), which provides a minimum sentence of ten years in prison and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment for a bank robber who forces another person “to accompany him” during the robbery or while in flight, requires proof of more than a de minimis movement of the victim.