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Whether you have been subjected to criminal fraud, or accused of fraudulent activities, knowing your legal options is of the upmost importance to get the best outcome for your case.
What is criminal fraud?
Criminal fraud is a type of fraudulent offence whereby the nature of the offence is criminal and will need to be prosecuted by prosecuting authorities. In regard to criminal fraud, it means that the person who has committed the fraud can face charges for committing their crime and harming others in the process.
If your primary goal is to recover any losses that have been removed by a fraudster, you may want to pursue civil proceedings against them by instructing a lawyer. However, if you have been accused of fraudulent activities, you may need legal representation from a criminal defence lawyer.
civil fraud vs criminal fraud
The first decision you will need to make if you are starting a claim for criminal fraud is whether you would like to make a criminal complaint, or handle it yourself through a civil court. Any civil case asks that the claimant can provide evidence of harm, whether it is through economic means or things like injuries. In essence, the difference between civil and criminal fraud is down to the way the case is handled by the claimant. Although they follow two different paths, you can use a civil and a criminal justice system at the same time for your case
A civil fraud case would involve the claimant filing a lawsuit against the perpetrator in civil cases. In these cases, the fraud is pursued by the victims privately to recover financial compensation or assets/ belongings.
A criminal fraud case is classed as a criminal offence and will involve a criminal court and prosecuting authorities. The benefits of opting for a criminal case are that you are not responsible for the costs in a criminal case, whereas you are in a civil case, and in a criminal case the accused could receive a heavy fine or even prison time.
You should know…
During criminal proceedings, the police/SFO have wider powers of investigation than you or your lawyer. For example, they are able to enter houses and business premises to execute search warrants without notice. Furthermore, they are able to access bank accounts, telephone records and confidential information which is not available to the public.
Types of criminal fraud Offences
Benefits and tax credits are awarded to people for various different reasons. Some grants can only be issued if the claimant meets strict financial qualification criteria. However, once granted, the continued entitlement can change due to an individual’s circumstances.
Offences of benefit fraud can be wide-ranging and complex. Some of the allegations will suggest dishonesty and others may be simply proved by failure to inform the authorities on an event.
Council tax fraud
Council tax fraud entails when an individual claim for Council Tax Support based on information that they know is false or inaccurate.
Examples of Council Tax non-compliance include:
– changes to income which could reduce the amount of Council Tax Support.
– An individual starting work which could reduce the amount of Council Tax Support.
– A person moves house which could end entitlement to a single person discount or reduce the amount of Council Tax Support.
Identity fraud entails when fraudsters access enough information about someone’s identity (such as their, name, current or previous address or date of birth) to commit identity fraud.
Identity fraud can take place whether the fraud victim is alive or deceased. Identity fraud can have a direct impact on your personal finances and can make it hard for you to obtain credit cards, loans or a mortgage until the matter is resolved.
Insurance fraud is one of the most common types of fraud. For as long as there have been insurance businesses, there have been fraudsters looking to cheat businesses and make a profit from false claims.
Common insurances fraud examples include:
– Stolen Cars
– Minor Car Accidents
– Staged Home Fires
– Commercial Liability Fraud
– Burglary, Robbery and Theft
Even though insurance fraud claims are common, in recent times insures have gone to extreme lengths to catch suspect falsifying claims.
Online banking fraud
Online banking fraud is the intentional illegal act to obtain money or assets from victims through coercion of information.
The most common ways fraudsters acquire a users information is by using methods of phishing and malware. However, online banking fraud can happen in every-day-situations by “over the shoulder looking” where the fraudster watched the victim make financial transactions, such as inputting their pin.
Tax fraud includes tax evasion, where a person or business avoids their tax liability by purposely failing to declare their income, or by falsifying expenses. Furthermore, it may also include the smuggling of goods that are liable to exercise VAT.
Criminal Fraud Overview
Key Benefits of Using a criminal fraud lawyer
1. STRUCTURE / CLARITY
A specialist litigation lawyer can provide clarity, advocacy, or representation when presenting evidence in court. Furthermore, they are able to structure a coherent and comprehensive case to your circumstances in an objective manner without emotion.
Criminal fraud which has been committed using an individuals credit card may be recoverable through compensation. A lawyer can advise you on your options available under the consumer protection legislation.
Providing the client with information on how much the case is likely to cost and the best strategy available to them in their current situation.
Understands the nuances of the fraud legislation and of how mitigating circumstances may be applicable to your individual situation.
A lawyer who specialises in criminal fraud can ensures your best interests are fully protected, and can help you to protect your rights and navigate the legal system.
how a lawyer can help with criminal fraud cases
Regardless of whether the case is criminal or civil, a lawyer will be needed to advise on possible settlement negotiations and compensation. While civil cases can end in settlement negotiations, a criminal case may lead into a plea bargain, where the accused will challenge their charges.
At LGBT Lawyers, our legal network advises on all aspects of corporate crime, business crimes and all crimes related to fraudulent activity. If you are concerned about an area of criminal fraudulence, get in contact with one of our specialists today for an initial meeting.
Our partner law firms have highly trained fraud lawyers who are able to guide you and offer you the best support to make your claim as easy as possible.
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