Criminal fraud is a white collar crime that includes any act intended to deceive through a false representation of some fact, resulting in the legal detriment of the person who relies upon the false information.

The essential elements needed to prove criminal fraud include:

  • Misrepresentation of material facts
  • By someone who knows the material fact is false
  • With intent to defraud
  • To a person or entity who justifiably relies on the misrepresentation
  • Actual injury or damages results from the reliance

Criminal fraud exists in different types:

Criminal fraud exists when someone:

  • Lies to you
  • Conceals from you
  • You justifiably rely on or are hurt by the lie or concealment

If You Are Accused of Criminal Fraud

You can be arrested and convicted of the crime of criminal fraud. Criminal consequences include:

  • Imprisonment
  • Probation or parole
  • Restitution (pay victims for losses)

In addition to criminal penalties, criminal fraud penalties may also result in civil penalties in which the defendant is forced to pay restitution for the amount taken from the victim and also substantial fines. The penalties for criminal fraud will be dependent on the severity of the fraudulent act, the person or entity that was defrauded, and the amount of money or property that was taken by defendant.

The likelihood of any of the above consequences depends on:

  • Severity of the criminal fraud
  • Prior convictions
  • Attitude of the community and court towards this type of crime
  • Currently on probation or parole
  • Amount of money or property that was defrauded
  • The person, business, or entity that was the targeted victim

You can also be held civilly liable to the victim in a private lawsuit for money. This could include:

  • Having a money judgment taken against you
  • Punitive damages
  • Canceling any contracts
  • Restitution
  • Penalties and fines

Accused of Criminal Fraud?

If you are accused of Criminal Fraud, you should speak to a criminal defense lawyer immediately to learn more about your rights, your defenses and the complicated legal system.

Victims of Criminal Fraud

If you are a victim of Criminal Fraud, you should call the police. If there is sufficient evidence, the police will then forward your case to the District Attorney's office to prosecute the person who committed the criminal fraud against you.

Vea esta página en español: Fraude Criminal o visita para más información legal.