A person or company in California may sue someone for damages if there is evidence that he or she committed fraud. However, fraud is also a felony offense that can result in criminal conviction. A felony conviction can have a long-lasting effect on your future, so an important step in fighting a fraud charge is to have a strong legal defense. At Turner Law, our focus is helping people to understand the criminal charges against them and what their options are.
The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners explains that the purpose of fraud is to gain financially by depriving someone of his or her property. There are three important elements to the definition of fraud:
- Knowing that relevant information is false
- Purposefully misrepresenting or concealing that information for personal gain
- Intending to cause financial loss to the person who relies on the information
Examples of fraud against individuals include identity theft, phishing schemes and Ponzi schemes, to name a few.
Fraud can be against a company rather than an individual. When fraud involves an employee, a manager or an executive, the definition varies slightly because it specifically refers to the misuse of your occupation and the assets or resources of the organization where you work for personal gain.
A company could be defrauded by a customer, a vendor or another outside party as well. Hacking, insurance fraud, bid-rigging schemes, bad checks and false account information are examples of external fraud against a company.
Ultimately, in order to prove fraud, the prosecutor will have to have evidence that shows beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the act intentionally or deliberately. More information about felony charges and defense strategies is available on our webpage.