2005 - 2006 LEGISLATURE
February 6, 2006 - Introduced by Senators Stepp, Kanavas, Darling, Zien,
Grothman and Leibham, cosponsored by Representatives Hundertmark,
Davis, Vos, Krawczyk, Petrowski, Meyer, Mursau, J. Fitzgerald, Kreibich,
Nischke, Montgomery, Musser, Ott, Hahn, Albers, Bies, Freese, Lamb,
Gunderson, LeMahieu, Suder, Kaufert, Van Roy and Hines. Referred to
Committee on Housing and Financial Institutions.
1An Act to amend
938.18 (1) (a) 1., 941.291 (1) (b), 946.82 (4), 949.03 (1) (b) and 2
969.08 (10) (b); and to create
218.05 (15), 895.81, 939.03 (1) (f) and (g), 939.32 3
(2m), 941.38 (1) (b) 21. and subchapter IV of chapter 943 [precedes 943.80] of 4
the statutes; relating to: offenses against financial institutions, community
5currency exchanges, and providing penalties.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
Crimes against financial institutions
The following are crimes under current law:
1. Theft: taking and carrying away, using, transferring, or concealing movable
property of another without the other's consent and with intent to deprive the owner
permanently of possession of the property. Theft ranges from a Class A misdemeanor
for theft of property valued at $2,500 or less to a Class G felony for theft of property
valued at $10,000 or more.
2. Theft by fraud: obtaining another's property by intentionally deceiving the
person with a false representation. The penalties are the same as for theft.
3. Robbery: taking property from another person or in the presence of another
person by use or threat of violence. Robbery is generally a Class E felony.
Under current law a person may be convicted of theft, fraud, or robbery of a
This bill creates a new subchapter of property crimes against financial
institutions. A financial institution is defined as a bank, a savings bank, a savings
and loan association, a trust company, or a credit union, or a company that controls,
is controlled by, or is under common control with a bank, a savings bank, a savings
and loan association, a trust company, or a credit union.
The crimes created in the bill are:
1. Theft against a financial institution: knowingly using, transferring,
concealing, or taking money, funds, or other property owned by or under the custody
or control of a financial institution without authorization from the financial
institution. Theft against a financial institution ranges from a Class A misdemeanor
for theft of property valued at $500 or less to a Class E felony for theft of property
valued at $100,000 or more.
2. Fraud against a financial institution: obtaining money or other property
owned by or under the custody or control of a financial institution by means of false
pretenses, representations, or promises; or falsely representing that one is a
financial institution to obtain money or other goods, or to obtain or record a person's
personal identifying information. (Class A misdemeanor to Class E felony.)
3. Loan fraud: knowingly overvaluing or making a false statement concerning
any land, security, or other property for the purpose of influencing a financial
institution to take any action in connection with a loan or loan application. (Class
A misdemeanor to Class E felony.)
4. Concealment of collateral: knowingly concealing, removing, disposing of, or
converting to one's own use any property mortgaged to, pledged to, or held by a
financial institution. (Class A misdemeanor to Class E felony.)
5. Bribery: conferring or offering to confer a benefit on an employee, agent, or
fiduciary of a financial institution without the consent of the financial institution
and with intent to influence the person's conduct in relation to the affairs of the
institution. The bribery provision also prohibits an employee, agent, or fiduciary of
a financial institution from agreeing to accept a benefit without the consent of the
institution in return for taking actions with respect to the institution's affairs. (Class
6. Extortion: threatening to injure an employee of a financial institution or to
cause damage to the institution's property for the purpose of obtaining money or
other property owned or under the custody or control of the financial institution.
(Class H felony.)
7. Robbery of a financial institution: taking property that is owned by or under
the custody or control of a financial institution from a person by use or threat of
violence. (Class C felony.)
8. Mail fraud and wire fraud: using a wire communications system, the U.S.
mail, or a commercial delivery service to further commission of any of the crimes
listed above or any other felony against a financial institution; or using the U.S. mail
or a commercial delivery service to distribute or conduct other activity related to
counterfeit currency, obligations, or securities. The bill also provides that the state
has jurisdiction to prosecute mail or wire fraud if mail or a wire transmission is sent
from this state, received in this state, or, in the case of wire fraud, if it is reasonably
foreseeable that the transmission will be accessed in this state. (Class H felony.)
9. Organizer of financial crimes: committing three or more financial crimes
within an 18-month period in concert with a person whom the actor supervises,
organizes, finances, or manages. A financial crime is any crime against a financial
institution created by this bill as well as any felony against a financial institution.
(Class E felony.)
The bill also provides that if a person commits three or more financial crimes,
as defined in item 9., against a financial institution in an 18-month period, the term
of imprisonment for the third or subsequent offense may be increased by two years
for a misdemeanor, four years for lesser felonies, and up to six years for more serious
The bill provides that a financial institution may bring a civil action against a
person who commits a financial crime, as defined in item 9., to recover any
compensation the financial institution paid to a customer as a result of the crime as
well as any damages suffered by the financial institution as a result of the crime.
The penalties for the crimes mentioned above are as follows:
- See PDF for table
Check cashing businesses
Under current law, a person, other than a financial institution or credit union,
that engages in the business of cashing checks and money orders must obtain a
community currency exchange license and must abide by certain rules, such as a
prohibition against acting as a depository for money. The bill provides a criminal
penalty (a fine not to exceed $2,000, imprisonment for not more than nine months,
or both) for violating the licensing or other requirements for community currency
Because this bill creates a new crime or revises a penalty for an existing crime,
the Joint Review Committee on Criminal Penalties may be requested to prepare a
report concerning the proposed penalty and the costs or savings that are likely to
result if the bill is enacted.
For further information see the state and local fiscal estimate, which will be
printed as an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
SB571, s. 1
218.05 (15) of the statutes is created to read:
A person who violates this section may be fined not more than 3
$2,000 or imprisoned for not more than 9 months or both.
SB571, s. 2
895.81 of the statutes is created to read:
5895.81 Indemnification of a financial institution.
A financial institution, 6
as defined in s. 943.80 (2), that compensates a customer for a pecuniary loss resulting 7
from a financial crime, as defined in s. 943.80 (1), or assumes the loss, may bring a 8
civil action against the person who committed the crime to recover the amount of the 9
loss, any other damages incurred by the financial institution as a result of the crime, 10
and the costs incurred to bring the action, including attorney's fees.
SB571, s. 3
938.18 (1) (a) 1. of the statutes is amended to read:
(a) 1. If the juvenile is alleged to have violated s. 940.03, 940.06, 13
940.225 (1) or (2), 940.305, 940.31, 943.10 (2), 943.32 (2), 943.87,
or 961.41 (1) on or 14
after the juvenile's 14th birthday.
SB571, s. 4
939.03 (1) (f) and (g) of the statutes are created to read:
(f) The person violates s. 943.89 and the matter or thing is deposited 17
for delivery within this state or is received or taken within this state.
(g) The person violates s. 943.90 and the transmission is from within this state, 19
the transmission is received within this state, or it is reasonably foreseeable that the 20
transmission will be accessed by a person or machine within this state.
SB571, s. 5
939.32 (2m) of the statutes is created to read:
939.32 (2m) Misdemeanor crimes against financial institution.
attempts to commit a crime under s. 943.81, 943.82 (1), 943.83, or 943.84 that is a 24
Class A misdemeanor under s. 943.91 (1) is subject to the penalty for a Class B 25
SB571, s. 6
941.291 (1) (b) of the statutes is amended to read:
(b) "Violent felony" means any felony, or the solicitation, conspiracy, 3
or attempt to commit any felony, under s. 943.23 (1m) or (1r), 1999 stats., or s. 940.01, 4
940.02, 940.03, 940.05, 940.06, 940.08, 940.09, 940.10, 940.19, 940.195, 940.20, 5
940.201, 940.203, 940.21, 940.225, 940.23, 940.285 (2), 940.29, 940.295 (3), 940.30, 6
940.305, 940.31, 940.43 (1) to (3), 940.45 (1) to (3), 941.20, 941.26, 941.28, 941.29, 7
941.30, 941.327, 943.01 (2) (c), 943.011, 943.013, 943.02, 943.04, 943.06, 943.10 (2), 8
943.23 (1g), 943.32, 943.81, 943.82, 943.83, 943.84, 943.85, 943.86, 943.87, 943.88,
946.43, 947.015, 948.02 (1) or (2), 948.025, 948.03, 948.04, 948.05, 10
948.06, 948.07, 948.08, or 948.30.
SB571, s. 7
941.38 (1) (b) 21. of the statutes is created to read:
(b) 21. A crime under s. 943.81, 943.82, 943.83, 943.84, 943.85, 13
943.86, 943.87, 943.88, 943.89, or 943.90.