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Common Defenses for Fraud

One of the most common white collar crimes in the United States is fraud, which involves a scheme to deceive another person or entity in exchange for financial gain. To convict someone of fraud, the prosecution needs to prove that the person intentionally misrepresented important facts to another party in order to defraud them and caused the other party harm because of their trust in the person’s misrepresentation. 

Fraud is a serious crime in California. Additionally, if the alleged scheme involved multiple victims and other suspects in more than one state, then this type of fraud could be considered a federal crime. 

With the help of a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer, there are several potential defenses that a defendant could raise to avoid conviction. 

The following are the most common defenses for fraud: 

  • No intent – To be guilty of fraud, you must have an intention to commit the offense. The prosecution must have evidence that you purposefully and willfully defrauded someone else to gain money and something else of value. If the alleged offense occurs by accident, like accidentally using someone’s credit card or personal identifying information to make a purchase, then this type of misunderstanding is not considered fraud because it was done by mistake. 

  • Mistaken identity – Our society has shifted to relying on online services to communicate, stay updated with current events, and even shopping and banking. However, an increase in online activities has resulted in fraud to take place on the Internet. Since online fraud can involve tens or hundreds of perpetrators and victims, it is not uncommon for someone to be mistakenly identified as the culprit due to a hasty investigation by law enforcement officials. 

  • The statements you made were not fraudulent – Just because you said something that is not true does not mean the statement is considered fraudulent. The misleading statement must be associated with an actual fact – not something you promise to fulfill at a later date. Furthermore, expressing your opinion should not result in being charged or convicted of criminal fraud. 

At Corrigan Welbourn Stokke, APLC, our Newport Beach white collar crime attorneys have more than 100 years of combined experience defending clients against serious fraud charges throughout Orange County. As former prosecutors, we understand how the prosecution will approach your case and help you develop an aggressive and effective defense strategy to get the best possible outcome in your case. 

Contact us today at (949) 251-0330 for more information about fraud charges in Orange County. Schedule a free consultation!