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What makes something a fraud?

If a prosecutor accuses you of fraud, what exactly are they saying? Generally speaking, this is what is considered to be fraud: You knowingly misrepresented a material fact to someone who relied on your information. As a result, they lost something.

In a criminal case, for a person to be convicted of fraud, the charge must be proven “beyond a reasonable doubt,” and many fraud charges are reduced to lesser charges or dismissed. However, you will need an effective criminal defense strategy to do that.

How can you defend against fraud charges?

If you need to defend against a fraud charge, each part of the accusation should be examined:

  • Did you misrepresent a fact? Not all information is a hard fact. There are often multiple ways to interpret statements and other information in cases involving fraud allegations.

  • Did you misrepresent a fact on purpose? Even experienced businesspeople and high-level investors get things wrong from time to time. Can the prosecution prove that you intentionally lied to someone? Or did you make a mistake?

  • Was someone relying on that fact? Most people use several sources of information before making decisions. Think about the last thing you bought online. You probably looked at several reviews and scanned various online store product descriptions before making a purchase. Is your accuser saying they took the facts you gave them as absolute truth? Without checking any other sources of information?

  • Did they lose something of value as a result of using the information you gave? Can someone prove that they lost out specifically because they used your information? Or were there other factors that had nothing to do with you?

If a court convicts you of fraud, you could face time in jail and considerable financial penalties. A conviction could harm your reputation, and you may be unable to apply for certain types of jobs. A strong defense against accusations of fraud is vital to protect your future.

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