Invoice Fraud Attorneys
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What Is an Invoice?
An invoice is a document sent to a buyer of goods and/or services by the seller. The document contains details about the ordered services or goods. It may also contain other information such as the contractual payment terms between the specific buyer and seller. The buyer receiving the invoice makes a payment to the seller based on the invoice.
What Is Invoice Fraud?
Invoice fraud refers to a fake or fraudulent invoice for services or goods not rendered. Invoice fraud can occur in many different ways besides a fake invoice such as:
- Duplicate Invoice: An invoice sent to a buyer more than once with the intent to defraud. This can occur with construction fraud when a subcontractor sends duplicate bills to a general contractor.
- Inflated Invoice: An invoice with higher prices than the cost of the service or goods listed. For example, a seller may list the cost of goods as $100, but the actual cost was $50. The buyer pays the higher price without knowing the true cost.
Will I Get into Trouble If My Business Sends a Duplicate or Inflated Invoice by Mistake?
No. A seller only commits fraud if they knowingly submitting a false, duplicate, or inflated invoice with the intent to defraud. The intent to defraud can occur by one company acting alone or in collusion with different companies.
What Does Knowingly Mean?
If a person acts knowingly in terms of fraud, this means that they acted while:
- Having actual knowledge of the falsity
- Showing a reckless disregard for the falsity or truth
- Deliberately acting with ignorance of the falsity or truth
What Are the Consequences for Invoice Fraud?
As with any form of fraud, the consequences for invoice fraud are serious. If a company or individual is found liable for invoce fraud, they could face both civil and criminal penalties. Civil penalties for invoice fraud include the nullification of the underlying contract and damages. Criminal consequences for invoice fraud range from fines to jail time.
What Can I Do If I Am Accused of Invoice Fraud?
An accusation of invoice fraud is a serious accusation that can result in harm to your reputation and the dissolution of any contract(s) you may have with the other party, not to mention criminal penalties. You will need to contact a business attorney if you have been accused of invoice fraud. An attorney can help you defend your company against such allegations and prevent the nullification of the underlying contract.
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Last Modified: 11-23-2015 12:32 PM PST
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