Skip to main content

What is fraud law?

Fraud law addresses issues with people wrongfully obtaining money, property, or other benefits by dishonesty. Fraud is considered a felony and can mean a conviction of one year or more years in jail. Other penalties can also include fines, victim reimbursement, and community service. If the case is heard in civil court, usually the plaintiff receives compensation in the form of money. Here are some key areas to be considered in fraud cases.

Fraudulent Intent – To prove the defendant has been fraudulent the victim’s lawyer has to prove that the defendant intended to defraud the victim. Most often fraud cases will not have direct evidence that the defendant had intent.

Common types of fraud crimes – The most common types of fraud cases heard in US courts are check and credit card fraud. Check fraud cases involve the defendant writing a check and the account not having sufficient funds, causing the check to bounce. Most often first time offenders will only have to pay a modest bank fee. However, repeat offenders can be convicted, resulting in jail time. Credit card fraud occurs when someone uses a person’s credit card to make a purchase. Often cards have been stolen, or the credit card number obtained when a purchase occurs. Other forms of fraud include counterfeiting, money laundering, prize fraud, investment schemes and mortgage scams. Nonfinancial fraud also includes romance schemes and identity theft. Each year more unique methods of fraud are developed, forcing new laws to be created.