Can somebody get in trouble for supplying a false address to a bank when opening an account?

  • 1
    "last i checked, lying was not a crime" - law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1344 If you get anything of value from your bank: a loan, interest on deposits, etc. based on your fraudulent pretences, you would be in violation of 18 USC 1344.
    – user3851
    Mar 16, 2016 at 22:54
  • I edited away all the unnecessary details and stripped the question down to what I think was the basic question you were asking. Did I summarize correctly?
    – user3851
    Mar 16, 2016 at 22:57
  • There could be laws that make it illegal to knowingly provide false information on those forms specifically. I wouldn't do it. I can't imagine it's a crime to be homeless, and I'm relatively certain there must be a way to do the things you're asking about without a residential address. Did you talk to them? What did they say to do?
    – Patrick87
    Mar 16, 2016 at 23:00
  • i think lying to the government agency probably has different consequences than lying to a private company. most of the case law i can find is about passports, but i assume licenses are similar. perhaps that is a separate question? Mar 16, 2016 at 23:00
  • @Dawn i don't think that my residential address is "material" to opening the account. specifically, i don't think the bank cares, it is just some homeland security regulations with which they must comply. besides, i am not receiving funds from the bank in question, i am giving them my funds. Mar 16, 2016 at 23:02

1 Answer 1


While the label on 18 USC 1014 might suggest that you only get in trouble for lying on a loan application, the language of the statute includes "Whoever knowingly makes any false statement …for the purpose of influencing in any way the action of…any institution the accounts of which are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation…shall be fined not more than $1,000,000 or imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both". Which I think counts as trouble, if you're in the US. There are, additionally, options for charges of fraud, and probably lying to the government on the premise that account information is transmitted to the feds (likely mediated through the fact that the federal government insures tour accounts)

  • 1
    1. i am not sure this counts as "for the purpose of influencing", since i don't think the agencies involved will behave differently based on the address i provide. 2. shouldn't there be some materiality test during the adjudication of these charges? Mar 17, 2016 at 16:22
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    As for 2, perhaps, but that is not what the law says. Write to your congressman, or favorite SCOTUS justice. You are free to argue that the bank would not have been influenced, but then you would have to explain why you didn't tell the truth. The prosecution will have a story about why you were trying to influence the bank, and the jury isn't going to believe an unsubstantiated denial.
    – user6726
    Mar 17, 2016 at 18:21
  • i think the fact that i tried to tell the truth and they refused to believe me would be sufficient for any reasonable jury. Mar 21, 2016 at 16:58

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