Bank Fraud: Shaw v. the United States
The case must have occurred within the last SIX years (No earlier than 2014). Additionally, the case MUST have a disposition factor associated with it. A disposition factor in a criminal case is the final settlement of the case that includes sentencing. This is a required component in the report worth 10 points.
The research paper must be written in proper report format, such as MLA or APA, and follow the requirements below:
1. Between Two & Three Pages
2. Double Spaced with 1” Margins
3. 12 Point Font
4. Reference page is required with a minimum of two sources. It is in addition to the 2-3 page requirement.
Wikipedia is not a source; please do not list it as such.
5. Citations throughout the paper must also be used to give credit to the author where appropriate. Deductions will be taken for not properly citing references throughout.
6. Must include a cover page with student name, class name, section #, date, and title.
Do not add the information to the first page of the research paper, it is only to be on the cover page. It is not to be included in the 2 – 3-page requirement.
7. Proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation is imperative. There is no excuse for sloppy work and points will be deducted for any errors noted. The writing center can be utilized if assistance is needed, and I encourage all students to request someone to review prior to the required deadline.
Ensure to include the following in the research case:
What crime was alleged to have been committed?
Explain the involvement of all suspects or perpetrators in the crime that was committed.
What agency was assigned to work the case?
What charges were brought against the suspect?
How was the crime committed?
What was the disposition of the case?
Give as much background about the case as you can locate.
Your opinion with regard to the disposition of the case must be included.
Shaw v. the United States is a case that was argued in 2016 before the U.S. Supreme Court. Lawrence Edward Shaw is the petitioner in this case and is sought for the reversal of the conviction he received for bank fraud. According to the first clause of the 18 U.S. Code § 1344 banking code, banking fraud crimes occurs when a party attempts or knowingly executes a scheme to defraud a given financial institution (Cornell Law School, 2019). However, Shaw suggested that he didn’t intentionally implement a plan meant to defraud the bank because his fraudulent activities didn’t target the financial institution as the primary target (Supremecourt.Gov, 2016). As such, Shaw resented an argument before the Supreme Court that his conviction should be vacated based on these grounds. Previously, both the District Court and Court of appeals had rejected this argument, and the Supreme Court held the same judgment.
Background of the Case
Stanley Hsu is a Taiwanese businessman who opened an account with the Bank of America when he was working in the U.S. However, Hsu returned to Taiwan but assigned for one of his employee’s daughters to receive emails on his behalf and forward them to him while still in Taiwan. At the time, Lawrence Eugene Shaw lived with this woman, and he would regularly check her email with her knowledge. Shaw devised a scheme to defraud Stanley Hsu when statements from The Bank of America arrived. He did this by opening a PayPal account, which he put under Stanley Hsu’s name. Shaw later used this PayPal account to convince the back that it was Stanley Hsu’s account so that he could now be able to transfer money from the bank to PayPal and then to another account Shaw controlled. Through this scheme, Shaw managed to transfer nearly $307,000 from Stanley Hsu’s bank account to his accounts before this fraud was discovered (Supremecourt.Gov, 2016). The Bank of America managed to return nearly $131,000 to Hsu, while PayPal returned close to $106,000 (Supremecourt.Gov, 2016). However, Hsu lost close to $170,000, mainly because he had not notified the banks within the required 60 days since the fraudulent transaction took place (Supremecourt.Gov, 2016).
The Charges against the Suspect
Lawrence Edward Shaw was charged by the government with the offense of violating the United States Bank Fraud Act (1984) that criminalizes any scheme aimed at defrauding financial institutions. Shaw requested the court to compel the government to prove that his intentions were not just about defrauding the bank. Still, his primary purpose was targeting the Bank of America as his principal victim (Supremecourt.Gov, 2016). However, the court denied Shaw his requested when it ruled that the government was only required to establish that Shaw intended to deceive the bank and that he always wanted the ban to incur the losses that would emanate from this fraud (Supremecourt.Gov, 2016). As such, Shaw was convicted for 14 bank fraud counts under the Banking Fraud Act, with this decision being affirmed by both the appeals and supreme courts.
Disposition of the Case
The question that the Supreme Court had to determine in this case was whether, under the United States Banking Fraud Act (1984), the government was obligated to prove that the defendant intended to deceive the bank and the bank had been his primary target. Justice Stephen G. Breyer read the majority opinion, and the court determined that as the statutes of the current Banking Fraud Act stands, it deals with property rights. The bank, therefore, has the property rights within a bank account because banks have the right to utilize the funds in these accounts as sources of loan funds, which usually earns the bank interest rates (Supremecourt.Gov, 2016). As such, any scheme that was involved in defrauding funds from the bank account is equitable to defrauding the bank itself. Therefore, the defendant would not be in any position to make claims that he did not know that his actions would result in harming the bank.
Opinion and Conclusion
Shaw’s ignorance of the relevant property laws in regards to the Banking Act (1984) cannot be used as a defense to his prosecutions for committing bank fraud. Instead, he knew that The Bank of America owned Hsu’s account, and he knowingly made false statements aimed at deceiving the bank. The intentions of making these false statements was so that the bank could release some of the funds in that account so that they can wrongfully or illegally fall in his hands. As such, although Shaw might not have been aware of the details of the banking property law, these facts are a clear demonstration and sufficient evidence to Shaw that he knew what he was getting himself into and his primary intentions was defrauding the bank. As such, I feel that the court’s ruling was just and Shaw deserves the sentence he received for the harm caused to both Mr. Stanley Hsu and the Bank of America.
Cornell Law School. (2019). 18 U.S. Code § 1344 – Bank fraud. Retrieved from https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1344
Supremecourt.Gov. (2016). SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES. Retrieved from https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/16pdf/15-5991_8m59.pdf