Kushner Law Group, PLLC
Kushner Law Group, PLLC
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The role of intent in a fraud case

On Behalf of | Jan 6, 2022 | White Collar Crimes |

Fraud is a type of financial crime that can take on many different forms. For instance, someone who runs a pyramid scheme could be accused of defrauding those who put their money into the scheme. Another example is someone who is accused of tax fraud for illegally under-reporting their earnings.

If you have been accused of fraud, you may be surprised. You didn’t know that you were doing anything that serious or perhaps you didn’t even think you did anything wrong. Is this still fraud?

It may just be a simple mistake

There are cases in which a mistake looks like fraud to the government. For instance, maybe you overlooked some of your earnings for the year and didn’t report them on your taxes. Or perhaps you accidentally over-reported your earnings to your investors, making it appear that your company was in a better financial situation than it was.

If this was an honest mistake, the ramifications can be far different. In many cases, intent is required for something to be considered fraud. You have to have a plan in advance to do something specific that is going to benefit you financially, and then you need to act on it. If you just made a paperwork error or honestly made a mistake in your accounting, that’s not the same as fraud. You’re not denying the mistake, but you’re just simply saying there was no malicious intent along the way. 

This can be a defense against those charges. Make sure you know exactly what steps you’re going to have to take and what the prosecution is going to look for in your case.