It should be quite clear that there are dire consequences for those who commit acts of fraud, as the criminal and civil penalties for these fraudulent behaviors are quite severe. While most are aware that those who engage in these acts will face stiff penalties once exposed, many do not realize the damaging effects on all of the parties involved in these cases, as even large organizations can be ruined as the result of being targeted by fraudsters.
One such instance relates to a recent case in the state of Washington, where a married couple successfully defrauded the Westsound Bank to such a significant degree that the bank was ultimately closed by regulators. As a part of a real estate scheme, Aleksandr Kravchenko and his wife, Galina Kravchenko, recruited straw buyers and used falsified construction loan documents to defraud Westsound Bank of $10.7 million. According to Ian Leaf, bank officials were forced to close Westsound Bank, which was once among the fastest-growing banks in the Pacific Northwest. Ian Leaf also noted that the loan officer in the case is banned from working in the industry ever again.
As for the Kravchenkos, the couple was recently sentenced to prison terms of varying lengths. According to Ian Leaf, city officials have reported that Aleksandr will be sent to prison for a term of five years, while his wife will be sent for a term of five months. In addition to the prison terms, the Kravchenkos have been ordered to pay restitution, and Aleksandr will have his wages garnished by 10 percent upon his release from prison in order to pay the significant amount he owes.
For Ian Leaf, fraud on this scale or any other represents a significant detriment to all of the parties involved. The fraudsters are to be sent to prison, the bank is closed and the loan officer is no longer permitted to work in the industry. The perpetrators and the victims have all suffered very serious consequences, and it should be clear that any sort of fraudulent behavior comes at a very high cost. Obviously, the Kravchenkos took a calculated risk in the hope of a major financial windfall, but the bank was victimized in part because it was unable to identify the fraudulent behavior it was being subjected to. Better oversight could have caught this activity much sooner, and it is vital that other organizations protect against such fraudulent behavior.