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Defining the elements of fraud

On Behalf of | Jan 26, 2018 | Federal & White Collar Criminal Defense |

Like most in Lincoln, you likely make it a point to avoid activities that could in any way be perceived as being criminal. So have many of the clients that we here at Monzon, Guerra & Associates have worked with, yet that did not stop them from being the targets of accusations. Your personal and business interactions will often involve arrangements or agreements, some of which may not end favorably for those involved. In such cases, it is often easy for those affected to direct allegations of fraud your way. How, then, are you to prove that your motivations and intentions towards your dealings are legitimate? 

Fortunately, standards have been set that must be met for your case to qualify as fraud. In general, a legitimate fraud claim involves the following four elements: 

  • The misrepresentation of a material fact
  • A prior knowledge or belief on your part that the representation is indeed false
  • The conveyance of such information to a party who relies on it as fact
  • An actual loss or injury occurring due to that reliance 

While these elements are general, each state has applied them specifically to certain situations through various statutes. According to the Nebraska Criminal Code, the state has dedicated laws that offer fraud protection to insurers and in cases involving identity theft or the filing of financial statements. 

Notice how the element of intent is implied when defining fraud. This proves that in order to be guilty of this offense, you typically have to have intended to defraud the party you are working with. This may protect you in the event another claims your actions were fraudulent, yet you are able to show that you were indeed operating in good faith. 

You can learn more about specific examples of fraud by continuing to explore our site.