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The Florida Bar

The Criminal Charge of Fraud

Elements of Fraud as Per the Law

Fraud may be civil or criminal in nature, and the laws concerning fraud may differ from one state to another. Florida follows the majority of states with regard to this criminal statute. To prove criminal fraud, it is important to show the perpetrator’s criminal intent. Such fraud may be punishable by imprisonment or fine or both. If the act of fraud merely involves bad faith, it may not constitute criminal fraud, and the penalty may be imposed on the perpetrator as a punishment and in order to recover the victim’s damages and losses. If you have been charged with fraud, you may wish to consult with a criminal attorney. For more information, contact Broward County fraud lawyers at William Moore Criminal Defense, (954) 523-5333.

In order to prove fraud, it must include certain key elements, the first of which is misrepresentation of one or more material facts to the victim. The second element is that the misrepresentation should be carried out by an individual or entity that is aware about its falsehood. The third element is that the victim must have justifiably relied upon such misrepresentation. Finally, the victim must have incurred actual loss or injury as a result of such reliance.

Common Fraud Types and Warning Signs

Fraud may occur personally or through telephone, postal mail, wire, or the Internet. Some of the common types of acts of fraudulence include telemarketing, email, credit card, securities, loan, real estate, insurance, taxation, bankruptcy, identity, and wire fraud. Warning signs of a fraud may depend on the nature of the attempted fraudulent act. It is not wise to trust anyone until you have been around them for a while and you should make it a habit of checking the books and following up on certain issues.

For instance, any online vendor telemarketer that insists on first receiving money before revealing the full details of the offer or scheme is likely to be fraudulent. Anyone asking for bank account details, your social security number, or email password may be trying to perpetrate an identity fraud. A company making tall claims to improve credit and asking for cash upfront could constitute credit related fraud.

Fraud against Businesses

Fraud is perpetrated not just against individuals, but also against all types of businesses. Sometimes a business may be in a vulnerable position and become the victim of this callous act. If the business is in urgent need of financing, a fraudster posing as a loan agent may be able to cheat the company out of money with a false promise to arrange a cheap loan. Company’s own employees may also perpetrate fraud against the organization in some cases by misusing their power and privileges. Have a sound vigilance mechanism within the organization is the best defense for businesses against fraud.

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