Facing accusations of criminal activity made by another Florida resident is likely something you never anticipated. Your surprise likely extends even furthers should you stand alleged of committing something as seemingly serious as white-collar crime.
Such is the shock expressed by many of those that come to see us here at Mandell Law. The term “white-collar crime” typically conjures up thoughts of elaborate schemes aimed at stealing millions upon millions from large corporations. Yet something as simple as fraud may also fall into this category. Answering such an accusation requires that you understand the standard for applying it to a criminal case.
Reviewing the definition of “fraud”
The trouble with fraud cases is that there does not exist a set standard defining it. Indeed, according to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Criminal Resource Manual, such an offense is not limited to infractions involving the “common law definition of false pretenses.” However, the manual does go on to state that situations involving it may include cases of:
- False representations
While the aforementioned definition may seem to provide law enforcement officials with a good deal of leeway in pursuing fraud charges against you, the lack of clarity may actually assist you in challenging such charges. To successfully prosecute a fraud case, officials must establish intent on your part. For example, if your business dealings result in a loss for a financial partner, you may be able to show that such a loss does not represent fraud if you continually acted in good faith in all your dealings. If there was no intent to defraud, then you may be able to show that your actions were not criminal.