Business fraud refers to a number of business practices that are deceitful and unlawful. Acts of fraud range from businesses using accounting practices that disguise their profits from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and to mislead investors to advertising non-existent features of a product to increase its sales potential. Some businesses have been found to use business and corporate funds for their own private enjoyment. Some of these cases make the news and involve prominent figures.
Business fraud has been broadly defined as when a “person or business intentionally deceives another with promises of goods, services, or financial benefits that do not exist, were never intended to be provided, or were misrepresented.” Unfortunately, business fraud affects everyone. If you have been a victim of any of the following, a business fraud lawyer may be able to help.
- Billed for services not received.
- Billed for products not ordered.
- Been overcharged for products or services.
- Using a product that appeared safe when the manufacturer knew there were dangers to the use but kept those dangers secret.
The list could go on and on. There are certain elements you must prove in order to collect damages for the fraudulent acts of a business.
A business fraud lawyer will evaluate your situation and determine if you have a legal case
There are five things you must prove in order to win a business fraud case:
- There was a false representation of fact.
- The representation was made by a representative of the company or the company itself.
- The person making the false representation knew at the time the representation was false.
- The false statement was made for the purpose of inducing you to act or not act based on the content of the statement.
- You suffered damages by relying on the false statement by acting or refraining from acting.
The false representations are not required to be made orally or in writing. A gesture, nod of the head or failure to provide information can all amount to an intentionally false or misleading statement.
It may seem easy to you. You simply know the business representative knew what he or she was telling you was false. The difficult thing to prove is that the person acted intentionally to deceive you and induce you to act. An experienced business fraud lawyer will know the questions to ask and information to obtain in order to prove business fraud occurred and the damages to which you are entitled to as a result.
If you believe you have been the victim of business fraud, or work for a company that engages in business fraud practices, contact a business fraud lawyer who will review the facts of your case and help you decide what to do next.