Fraud is defined as wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain. The primary difference between criminal fraud and civil fraud lies in who is pursuing legal action in the case. A person accused of committing an act of fraud by the government is subject to criminal fraud and, if found guilty, may be subject to probation, jail time, and/or restitution.
Individuals who feel they have been the victim of fraud may bring claims to court through a civil lawsuit to recover damages. In civil fraud lawsuits, the recovery may be for economic or non-economic losses.
Common types of fraud include:
- Mail Fraud
- Driver’s License Fraud
- Healthcare Fraud
- Debit and Credit Card Fraud
- Bank Account Takeover Fraud
- Stolen Tax Refund Fraud
- Voter Fraud
- Internet Fraud
- Elder Fraud
Whether criminal or civil, fraud generally involves several legal elements such as misrepresentation of a material fact, knowledge on the part of the accused that they were misrepresenting the truth, misrepresentation made purposefully, with the intent of fooling the victim, and more.
A single act of fraud can be prosecuted as criminal fraud by prosecutors and as a civil action by the party that was the victim of the misrepresentation.
If you have been accused of committing criminal fraud, speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney at our office to discuss your options.