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An overview of fraud as a criminal charge

  • Birdsall Obear

Federal fraud charges are serious criminal offenses that can result in significant penalties. When Wisconsin residents are charged with fraud crimes, the alleged offenses can cover a wide range of possible prohibited conduct. However, at their core, many fraud-based crimes share certain characteristics and elements. This post will discuss some of those elements, but readers are always encouraged to discuss their individual cases with criminal defense attorneys.

Fraud charges generally involve the misrepresentation of a fact or multiple facts. The facts that are misrepresented in fraud charges are important; if a person misrepresents a non-material fact, then fraud charges may not apply. Additionally, the party or parties that make the misrepresentations of fact usually must know that what they are asserting is wrong or false.

If an intentional misrepresentation is made to a party and that party then relies on the misrepresentation, another element of a general fraud charge may be proven. Alleged victims must rely on misrepresentations to their detriment for fraud to occur, and, if a victim does not suffer a loss as a result of their reliance on the fact, then fraud may not be fully proven.

As with all posts provided on this blog, readers should not use the contents as guidance on their specific legal situations. The laws surrounding individual federal fraud charges are specific, and people should be aware that the elements of their charges may differ from those stated above. The guidance of a trusted criminal defense attorney is an important part of preparing one's defense.

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