SW Legal studies in Business

Bank a “Victim” Due Restitution from Defendant Who Committed Fraud against Bank

Tennessee appeals court held that under the state victim restitution statute, a trial court could impose on a defendant convicted of defrauding a bank out of money, a requirement that defendant repay the bank for the funds improperly obtained.

Topic Criminal Law
Key Words

Victim; Restitution; Fraud; Bank

C A S E   S U M M A R Y

Poole was indicted for theft for drawing funds from a bank account using false documents. Under a plea agreement, he received an eleven month jail sentence. The court also ordered Poole to repay the bank $1,400 to cover the fraudulent withdrawals, which the bank had covered on behalf of the account holders. The award to the bank was under the Tennessee victim restitution statute. Poole appealed, contending that the bank was not a crime victim.


Affirmed. The bank was a victim of the defendant’s fraudulent transactions in withdrawing money from an account that was not his. Hence, the bank could receive restitution as part of the sentence imposed on defendant. The fact that the bank “insured” the account holders of the losses they suffered from defendant’s fraud does not mean the bank’s losses were compensated by insurance.


State v. Poole, ---S.W.3d--- (2008 WL 2229528, Ct. Crim. App., Tenn., 2008)

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