Stirling & O'Connell

Verifying fraudulent intent

Popular media often portrays white collar crime as being the sophisticated (almost glamorous) actions of intellectual masterminds aimed as stealing millions from large corporations. In actuality, however, white collar crime can involve activities that most would classify as mundane. In fact, many come to us here at the Stirling & O'Connell law office completely shocked that others viewed their actions as being fraudulent. If you find yourself in the same situation, then you no doubt will want to know whether a financial loss or injury is all that is needed as proof of fraudulent activity. 

If you transact a professional or personal deal that results in a loss on the part of your partner, it may be reasonable to assume that they will upset. Yet their perception of your actions alone is not enough to prove you acted fraudulently. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, it must be proven that your intent was to indeed cause harm to others with a designed fraudulent scheme in order to be guilty of fraud. If there is no element of intent present, then the only assumptions may then be that you were obviously acting in good faith. 

What if the claims you made to entice others to participate in a deal or transactions are viewed as being deceitful? Even in that scenario, more is needed to prove fraud. Your deceit must also be shown to have produced actual harm. Thus, if your actions produced no injuries to your partners or clients, then the burden of proof lies with prosecutors to show you intended to harm them. 

You can learn more about answering accusations of fraud by continuing to explore our site.  

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Stirling & O'Connell Law Office

749 Johnnie Dodds Blvd
Suite C
Mount Pleasant, SC 29464-3070

Phone: 843-779-9443
Fax: 843-577-9826
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