Virginia Fraud Criminal Law Cases
Provided by HG.org
Criminal law cases with fraud in Virginia may involve everyday lives of many individuals depending on the circumstances of fraudulent activity such as those committed in a company or against a single person. Identifying fraud and the repercussions of the actions of others could prevent possible disaster or lead to further complications.
Understanding what fraud is important so that instances are caught before they continue to harm a company or person. The indicators are often missed because vigilance is not part of an employee’s attention without training and special classes at work. However, for those that become part of a task force to check and examine certain behavior and warning signs, it is possible to explain these matters to others. When true fraud occurs, it could lead to a punishable offense with punitive damages owed to the victim. These are provided by the judge to punish the perpetrator in a civil court. In the criminal court, the judge and jury are necessary to convict and then sentence the accused to various punishments.
What Is Fraud?
True fraud crimes generally are successful at harming a company or person through large amounts of money or assets. In Virginia law, the party that claims fraud occurred must prove it through clear evidence. There must be some form of false representation, material facts to present to the courts, intentional or knowledge that the crime occurred, an intent to mislead others in some way, reasonable understanding that someone was misled and economic or financial damages to the victim. These are necessary in the state of Virginia for true fraud crimes to occur. A lawyer is generally necessary to help explain each factor to the judge or jury.
False Representation and Material Facts
The fake or untrue representation of something to another is the truest essence of what fraud is. When a person misconstrues the truth, fraud crimes usually occur. However, this does not include theft or other crimes where possessions are stolen. This misrepresentation must concern a present fact. This requires determination that the fact was true at the time any type of distortion occurs. There cannot exist a problem with past or future facts that may or may not occur. For someone to make a claim about something that will occur in the future and then something happens, this is not a fraudulent claim. An example would involve the sale of a store in five years. The owner may say he or she will sell it for $150,000. If the sale either does not occur or is more than this amount, it is not fraud.
The misrepresentation needs a material existence. There must exist some object or fact connected to the fraudulent activity such as money or information. There needs an importance attached to the material fact for the deal to hold true. The sale of the store itself is important, but the facts must remain present and have further importance to someone else. A purchaser that enters into a contract would need to have one sale price attached to the building. Any deviation to already written terms after signing could lead to fraudulent activity. A breach of contract or fraud in these agreements occurs often.
The Intention of the Perpetrator
While the acts of fraud could occur accidentally or through a series of events, the intention of the perpetrator are the most important in these cases. The intent to defraud a company or person may lead to a criminal investigation. The intent to misrepresent facts or details that leads to the injury is crucial. Then, there is a reasonable reliance on the data supplied by the other person. There is no crime if the story woven about some asset or opportunity is not believable by someone. The injured party must believe the lie or misrepresentation for harm to occur. The reliance on the false details is what usually causes the harm.
Criminal Proceedings with Fraud in Virginia
Criminal proceedings happen when the legal system believes that the victim acted in his or her own wellbeing with ordinary care. If through normal common sense certain research could uncover that the perpetrator was on performing legal or valid actions, justice may be unavailable. The victim needs to have taken reasonable action to protect himself or herself. Any action in opposition with clear indications or details found through a simple search may lead to little support. It is important to contact legal services when fraud appears to occur so that justice may happen for the victim.
Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.