White collar crimes are serious legal allegations. In South Carolina, the conduct that can constitute a while collar crime can range from alleged deceit in the procurement of a diploma to using telecommunications devices to commit fraud. At the heart of many white collar crimes is a claim of dishonest conduct that results in the enrichment of one party at the expense of a victim.
Many white collar crimes are based on allegedly fraudulent behaviors, and this post will explore fraud in-depth to explain its general elements. No part of this post is provided as legal advice to its readers, and all readers are strongly encouraged to seek counsel from knowledgeable criminal defense lawyers when they are charged with white collar crimes.
What is fraud?
Fraud is a big term that reaches across legal disciplines. It generally involves deceptive behaviors and the use of lies or deceit to make individuals act in such a way that the party committing the alleged fraud is enriched. Fraud can happen in business, insurance, over telecommunications, in education, and throughout other industries.
How does deceit differ from mistakes when it comes to claims of fraud?
At the heart of fraud charges are claims of deceitful behaviors. For a claim to be considered deceitful, it must be proven to have been intentional. An individual who mistakenly passes on bad or wrongful information may not be guilty of fraud if they honestly thought they were doing the right thing by providing the information to the alleged victim.
Mistakes are generally not fraudulent. Additionally, misrepresentations of information that is not material to an alleged victim’s situation may also not be fraudulent. It is generally when an individual misrepresents a material fact and conveys it as true to an alleged victim that a case for fraud may be built.
What if an alleged victim suffers no losses because of the misrepresentation?
Intentional deceit is a key element to a fraud charge, but so is actual loss. When a victim relies upon the misrepresentations of material facts from allegedly fraudulent individual, they may or may not suffer losses as a result of the reliance. When a victim suffers financial losses, they may be victims of fraud. If, though, their reliance does not harm them, there may be no case for fraud to be brought against the allegedly wrongful party.
Fraud claims are complex. They are dependent on the facts of individual cases. They involve statements, misrepresentations, trust, reliance, loss, and many other elements of proof to be demonstrated as violations of the law. They can be lodged in many different contexts and can impact individuals in all walks of life.
When a claim of fraud or another form of white collar crime is made against a person, they should take their charges seriously. Fraud and white collar crime carry with them heavy penalties. Criminal defense strategies can be built to help individuals overcome their charges and move their lives forward.