Criminal fraud is a criminal act committed by someone who intends to deceive another through a false representation of a fact. This misrepresentation results in legal detriment because the victim relies on the information as if it were true. Financial fraud is one type of criminal fraud.

What Is Financial Fraud?

Financial, or finance, fraud is a fraudulent or deceptive business practice that occurs during a financial transaction. Financial crimes can happen in different ways, such as:

Victims of financial fraud can be a person, a company, a state, or an organization such as a charity.

What Is Bank Fraud?

Bank fraud is knowingly attempting to or actually committing a scheme to defraud or deceive a financial institution. The person’s intent is to obtain assets, property, or money from the financial institution by:

  • False statements
  • Fraudulent means
  • False pretenses
  • False promises

Is Healthcare Fraud a Type of Financial Fraud?

Yes. Healthcare fraud involves filing false health care bills to obtain a profit and/ or reduce healthcare expenses. For example, an individual can make false states on a health care application to receive a discount or the financial benefit of insurance.

What Are Possible Defenses to Financial Fraud?

Possible defenses to finance fraud include:

  • Insufficient evidence: The prosecutor or insurer cannot meet the burden of proof needed to prove fraud occurred.
  • Non-fraudulent statement: Part of the crime of financial is making a false, or fraudulent, statement. If the defendant can show the misleading fact was actually opinion or that the statement was technically true, then there is no fraud.
  • Entrapment: The government compelled an innocent individual to commit a crime they would not have done otherwise for the purpose of trying to trap them in the crime.
  • Absence of intent of financial fraud: Fraud includes any event or action to deceive. The burden of proving deceit is on the insurer or prosecutor. A defendant would have to prove that they did not intend to commit financial fraud.

Do I Need to Talk to a Lawyer about Financial Fraud?

Being convicted of financial fraud not only carries with it a serious criminal punishment, but it could also ruin your professional and personal life, as it will make you seem untrustworthy in the eyes of your peers and any potential clients or future employers. If you are accused or charged with financial fraud, speak to a criminal lawyer about how you can fight the charge and specific defenses that may be available to you.