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Fraud allegations create risk of criminal charges and lawsuits

On Behalf of | May 29, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

Allegations of financial fraud occur in Colorado when people suspect that a person or organization has used deception to gain money or control of assets. People who think that you have committed fraud may accuse you of inflating insurance claims or using false information on a loan application or bankruptcy disclosure. Fraud can also look like claims that a company has altered its books to hide losses or inflate revenue. When confronted by allegations like these, you need to make a strategic response. The consequences could escalate to criminal prosecution and/or being sued for damages.

Prosecutor discretion

Fraud generally falls into the category of white-collar crime because fraudulent acts arise from altering paperwork, stealing identities or misleading people instead of violent acts. A prosecutor evaluating allegations of fraud will look for evidence of intent. To be convicted of fraud, evidence must show that the accused person knew the truth but lied or withheld information to execute a scheme for personal enrichment. This differs from making a mistake.

Even when intent appears provable, a prosecutor may choose to settle the matter by directing you to repay funds or restore assets to original owners. A prosecutor could forgo formal charges in exchange for a restitution deal.

You could be sued

Whether or not criminal charges move forward, you remain potentially vulnerable to a civil lawsuit. You could need to prepare to defend yourself from the risk of a jury awarding damages to your accuser.

Tough fraud laws

The legal system takes a harsh view of intentional deception for personal enrichment. A prosecutor may charge for each alleged act of fraud, and multiple charges increase your risk of large fines and potentially jail.

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