Fraud is a deliberate plan to gain financial or similar benefits through the use of false statements, misrepresentation, concealment of important information, or misleading conduct. It is an intentional deceptive action designed to provide the perpetrator with an unlawful benefit or to deny a right to the victim. Fraud can be committed by one person, several people, or a commercial company as a whole. Fraud is both a civil tort and a criminal offense. The federal government prosecutes and punishes several types of fraud specifically identified in federal laws.
Common mortgage fraud schemes for investors include different property exchange rates, occupancy fraud, and the false buyer scam. The main difference between a civil fraud case and a criminal case is that the actual damage must have occurred in a civil case. Unlike theft, which involves the appropriation of something of value by force or on the sly, fraud is based on the use of intentional misrepresentation of facts to carry out the appropriation. California law recognizes various crimes such as check fraud, access card fraud, insurance fraud, and the preparation of false financial statements. Possible penalties for a federal fraud conviction often include imprisonment or probation, high fines, and reimbursement of fraudulent profits. The person or company that commits fraud takes advantage of the asymmetry of information; specifically, the cost of the resources involved in reviewing and verifying that information may be significant enough to discourage total investment in fraud prevention.
While there is a wide range of federal and state fraud crimes, some of the most common ones include tax fraud, credit card fraud, electronic fraud, stock fraud, and bankruptcy fraud. The purpose of pursuing both a criminal fraud case and a civil fraud case is to obtain justice and punish the offender. However, punishments resulting from a guilty verdict are very different. A single act of fraud can be prosecuted as criminal fraud by prosecutors and also as a civil action by the party that was the victim of the misrepresentation. Opinions are not usually prosecutable as fraud, except in very specific circumstances defined by common law or the laws of each state. In criminal law, fraud often takes very specific forms such as bankruptcy fraud, credit card fraud, or health care fraud.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) describes stock market fraud as a criminal activity that can include high-yield investment fraud, Ponzi schemes, pyramid schemes, advance commission plans, foreign currency fraud, embezzlement of funds from brokers, withdrawals, hedge fund-related fraud, and last-minute trading. One of the main objectives of check fraud is identity theft. If you have been a victim of fraud and need information on how to obtain justice, contact the Bochetto & Lentz Philadelphia law firm.