COMMERCIAL FRAUD CLAIMS
The term commercial fraud refers to deceptive practices or legal violation committed by corporate executives for personal financial gain. In a broad legal sense, fraud is a deception made for personal gain or to damage another individual or entity.
Fraud is both a criminal offense and is also a basis for civil liability. Taking legal action against another party for committing business fraud is outside of the encompassing scope of what is considered commercial collection activity. The legal procedures that are associated with contingent commercial collection efforts fall entirely within the territory of civil litigation, whereas fraudulent pursuit falls under the heading of criminal litigation.
Pursuing fraud as a creditor, beyond the efforts of public enforcement officials, requires individual counsel that pursues the cause in defense of the legal right of the pursuer. It is recommended that a creditor the jurisdictional Attorney General’s office for their consult or possible pursuit in these matters.
Commercial Fraud Claims
Business fraud is a condition, trait, or characteristic that must be present in addition to “fraudulent intent” in a business transaction. To prove fraudulent intent, it must be demonstrated that predetermined or pre-meditated action occurred that contradicts or misleads the truth.
The “burden of proof” rests entirely with the plaintiff alleging fraud. Evidence constituting proof accepted are a falsification of documents, insider testimony, and testimony that can be corroborated by independent third parties.
Unfortunately, not everyone is honest and forthright in business or personal dealings. It is not uncommon that the greed and over-zealousness of some work to the detriment of others. Whether it be a frivolous stop payment on a check or the forging of a real estate document, fraud claims demand immediate and prompt legal attention.
Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act
One way that commercial businesses commit fraud is by deceiving consumers, which can be considered theft by false pretenses. The Florida Deceptive and Unfair Practices Act has outlawed the following:
- Unfair methods of competition
- Unconscionable acts or practices
- Unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce
This act has not limited the scope of these practices, so if you feel that a business has led you to an agreement, trade, or to conducting commerce with them by employing one or more of these practices then you may have a basis to file a commercial fraud claim.
The Federal Trade Commission has also outlawed unfair and deceptive practices.
The FTC defines an unfair practice as one that:
- Causes or is likely to cause substantial injury to consumers
- Cannot be reasonably avoided by consumers
- Is not outweighed by countervailing benefits to consumers or to competition.
- One as defined by state statute, regulation, or judicial proceeding.
The FTC also defines a deceptive practice as one where:
- A representation, omission, or practice misleads or is likely to mislead the consumer;
- A consumer’s interpretation of the representation, omission, or practice is considered reasonable under the circumstances; and
- The misleading representation, omission, or practice is material.
If you believe a business has used one or more of these practices to deceive you into a trade or agreement you would not have done otherwise, you may also have a basis for a fraud claim.
At the Law Offices of Paul A. Humbert, P.L., our team has successfully recovered millions of dollars for fraud victims while defending their legal rights. Paul has successfully represented clients in the realm of multi-million dollar debt collection and foreclosures. He is a graduate in the top 15% of his class at the University of Central Florida Levin College of Law. If you are in need of representation in a case about commercial fraud, foreclosure, debt collection, and more than Paul Humbert is the lawyer you should call. He also has a Masters degree in Business Administration, so his knowledge in the area of business is a welcome asset to your representation.
It is extremely important that you properly know and understand your rights so you are not taken advantage of by commercial fraud. If you believe that you have been the victim of a fraud, contact our office for a consultation by calling us today at (305) 914-7862 or contact our office for a consultation.