Fraud Claims Require Immediate Attention
By Thomas W. Hartmann
The Hartmann Law Firm; [email protected].com; 908 769 6888; TheHartmannLawFirm.Com
Fraud is an extremely serious charge. It affects one's ability to have insurance cover a claim. If a person is in dire straits and seeks to file bankruptcy, the ultimate bankruptcy discharge cannot discharge a claim of fraud. Damages awarded can be several multiples of the basic financial damage actually proven. These are called punitive damages. Attorney fees can be awarded in favor of the victim.
What is fraud? Fraud occurs when someone makes a material misrepresentation (or omission if there is an obligation to disclose) of a fact or promise to do something with knowledge of its falsity and with the intent that the person receiving the information will rely on it, as long as the reliance is reasonable.
Note that fraud involves material misrepresentations, not minor matters. Also, reliance must be reasonable – not so far-fetched that a reasonable person should have known better.
If fraud is proven, the winner or plaintiff can recover not only actual damages, but punitive damages. Punitive damages are often multiples of the actual damages and are imposed primarily to punish the wrongdoer. The winner may also seek to have any fraudulent contract rescinded or declared invalid.
If you are accused of fraud, you should seek legal guidance quickly, as the consequences of a fraud claim can have long term effects. Likewise, if you believe you have been the victim of fraud, you should seek legal advice in order to try to validate your claim and to seek appropriate recovery.
The Hartmann Law Firm LLC can assist in these compliance matters to insure your business and your assets are protected. Beyond this, we can help guide businesses through issues ahead of litigation or aggressively advocate in litigation and business disputes should the need arise.