Wisconsin Bankers Association: Governor Signs Financial Crimes

March 27, 2006

For more information, contact Cheryl McCollum, 608/441-1216

Law Defines New Crimes, Increases Penalties on Some Existing Crimes

MADISON – On Monday, Gov. Jim Doyle signed into law a bill that
toughens penalties and defines new crimes against financial

Assembly Bill 986, also known as the financial crimes legislation, will
provide more options for prosecutors, said Kurt Bauer, president/CEO of
the Wisconsin Bankers Association. “This new law will also add clarity
to the current law and act as a strong deterrent to criminals who
commit crimes against financial institutions.”

The options for prosecutors to charge criminals who commit crimes
against financial institutions will triple and fines will double. This
law creates a new subchapter of property crimes against financial
institutions where individuals can be charged with nine different
crimes with the maximum penalty being a Class E felony, with fines of
up to $50,000 and 15 years in jail.

As criminals have become more technologically savvy, there was a need
to add a new category of crimes for prosecutors to charge these
individuals, said Bauer. “Prosecutors will no longer need to search for
a crime that in the end will not have a stiff enough penalty.”

The bill was co-sponsored by State Rep. Jean Hundertmark
(R-Clintonville) and State Sen. Cathy Stepp (R-Sturtevant). It now
awaits the governor’s signature before it becomes law.