821. False Entries

Both 18 U.S.C. § 1005 and § 1006 prohibit the making of false entries in any book, report, or statement with the intent to defraud the institution or other persons or to deceive any officer of the bank, examiner or agent appointed to examine the institution.

The elements of the offense are (1) making a false entry, (2) with intent to defraud or deceive. A false entry includes any entry on the books of the bank which is intentionally made to represent what is not true or does not exist. See Agnew v. United States, 165 U.S. 36, 52 (1897). Any entry in which that which has been done by the officers or agents of the bank is correctly set forth in detail is not a false entry. See Coffin v. United States, 156 U.S. 432 (1895). If ostensible borrowers are not liable to the bank on their notes, an entry on the bank's books showing liability could be a false entry under the holding and rationale of United States v. Darby, 289 U.S. 224 (1933). In United States v. Biggerstaff, 383 F.2d 675 (4th Cir. 1967), various individuals had signed necessary papers for an installment loan. Among those papers was a note for which they received nothing. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held that this was a false entry since there was in reality no substance to the transaction, and the court stated that this was true even though the individuals might possibly have been liable on the note under state law. The decision in Biggerstaff distinguished the Coffin case on the ground that it involved a true entry of a transaction which was authorized, i.e., that checks of an insolvent were honored and carried on the books as an extension of credit.

Not only does the statute cover the making of the entry or directing someone to make it but it also covers an entry which the person caused to be made. See United States v. Giles, 300 U.S. 41 (1937)(defendant withheld deposit tickets which in the ordinary course would have been recorded by the bookkeeper), reh'g denied, 300 U.S. 687.

The crime of making false entries includes entries on books of a bank which are intentionally made to represent what is not true with intent to deceive the banks' officers or defraud the association. See Hargreaves v. United States, 75 F.2d 68 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, 295 U.S. 759 (1935); FIF Manual at 167-68.

[cited in JM 9-40.000]

Updated September 19, 2018