Press Release

For Immediate Release
April 1, 2004

Washington D.C.
FBI National Press Office
(202) 324-3691

Financial Institution Fraud - Fiscal 2003

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) continues to work to protect our nation's financial system. During fiscal year (FY) 2003, FBI investigations in the financial institution fraud arena resulted in over 2,000 federal convictions and over 2,000 pre-trial diversions. The figures come from the FBI's annual report on Financial Institution Fraud and Failure.

The FBI's Criminal Investigative Division (CID), Financial Crimes Section, prepares the report each year. Grant Ashley, Assistant Director of the CID, said, "The FBI's mission in the area of financial institution fraud is to identify, target, disrupt and dismantle criminal organizations and individual operations engaged in fraud schemes which target our nation's financial institutions."

The FBI investigates financial institution fraud (FIF) in several areas:

* Financial Institution Failure
* Insider Fraud
* Identify Theft
* Check Fraud
* Counterfeit Negotiable Instruments
* Check Kiting
* Mortgage and Loan Fraud

In addition, FIF investigations related to emerging technologies and computer-related banking are taking on added significance among the nation's financial institutions. In the past five years, there have been more than 12,800 convictions on various charges of felonies, misdemeanors and pre-trial diversions. This includes both employees and non-employees of financial institutions.

During FY 2003, FBI investigations resulted in $3.8 billion in restitution orders and $35.6 million in fines being handed down to subjects in financial institution fraud cases. In addition, during the same time period, the FBI seized $7.7 million in assets, forfeited $3.5 million and posted recoveries of $15.1 million in financial institution fraud matters.

Since 1996, the FBI received 268,536 Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) for criminal activity related to the crimes previously listed. These fraudulent activities accounted for
47 percent of the 569,294 SARs filed by U.S. financial institutions (excluding Bank Secrecy Act violations), and equaled approximately $8 billion in loses.

Employees of financial institutions are asked to be aware of any unusual financial activity. To report fraudulent activity or scams, contact the nearest FBI office or police department.

The Financial Institution Fraud and Failure Report is available on the FBI's Internet site,