In short, fraud is deliberate deception designed to enrich the perpetrator. Fraud is more specifically defined in the law as an intentional misrepresentation of a material existing fact made by one person to another with knowledge of its falsity, and for the purpose of inducing the other person to act. The fraud victim must rely upon the misrepresentation, and suffer damages from the misrepresentation.
For a fraud to reach a criminal level and be prosecuted by the state or federal government, it must be able to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. The penalties for being found guilty of a criminal fraud can include fines and jail time. Civil fraud, on the other hand, can be prosecuted by a personal attorney and the burden of proof is much lower – a jury does not have to be unanimous in order for a civil fraud case to be won. The end result of a successful civil fraud case claim is reimbursement to the fraud victim for the losses that they have incurred.
A business tort involving fraud is that of fraudulent inducement (or “fraud in the inducement”). Fraudulent inducement involves a fraudulent intent to lure someone into a contract by using a misrepresentation. The victim enters into the contract relying on the false statement.
There is a statute of limitations for filing a fraud case, so you may give up important rights by waiting too long. If you believe that somebody has intentionally cheated you and you have lost money, you may want to consider seeking the guidance of a qualified civil fraud attorney to review your options.
The Katz Firm will dedicate the time and attention necessary to effectively and efficiently pursue your civil fraud claim. Contact the Katz Firm for a free no-obligation case evaluation.