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Fraud is the intentional dishonest act of taking someone's money or property. The defrauded party is entitled to file a civil suit against the person or party that acted fraudulently. The fraudulent party will also face criminal penalties which will depend upon the malicious nature of the fraud. Fraud charges can include not pointing out a known fact or a mistake in a contract that purposely misleads the parties involved.

Fraud and misrepresentation claims involve the intentional act of making a false statement of fact with the intention to induce another party to act. Claims for misrepresentation normally occur during the negotiation phase for the sale of goods (autos, boats, real estate) or the provision for services (brokers, contractors, mechanics). The false statement of fact usually involves a misstatement about the quality of the good (condition or specifications for an auto, boat, diamond, or real estate); title or ownership of the good (not owned by the seller of the good); the qualifications of the service provider (licensed or qualified to be a broker, contractor, or mechanic); or the necessity for the service to be rendered (the repairs are not needed).

Another common form of fraud involves civil theft. Civil theft is when one party intentionally deprives another party from the rightful use or possession of property.  In other words, the taking of another personís property and refusing to return that property upon proper demand.  Examples of civil theft include the issuance of a bad check or refusing to return property or money known to belong to another party. 

Fraud Cases:

Mail fraud has two elements: (1) a scheme devised or intending to defraud or for obtaining property or money by fraudulent means, and (2) using the mails in furtherance of that fraudulent scheme. The "scheme to defraud" element of mail fraud is deliberately broad. It encompasses a wide variety of criminal activity, including credit card fraud, securities fraud, medical drug fraud, and frauds based on political malfeasance. Because the mail fraud statute uses such broad language and because it is relatively easy to prove, mail fraud is one of the most common charges brought by federal prosecutors. Charges of mail fraud frequently are made even in cases in which more specific crimes have been charged.

The federal wire fraud statute is similar to the mail fraud statute, but requires an interstate or foreign transmittal of a communication by wire, radio, or television. The federal bank fraud statute criminalizes the conduct of any party who "knowingly executes, or attempts to execute, a scheme or artifice to defraud a financial institution, by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises."

Fraud can be many things. It can be committed almost everywhere. Basically, any transaction you conduct with someone else, can be marked for fraud. Because it is such a broad and indefinable concept for the average person, fraud lawyers are becoming increasingly more popular.

If you are facing fraud charges in Texas, contact The Sheena Law Firm today!

Danny M. Sheena, P.E.

The Sheena Law Firm
2500 West Loop South, Suite 518
Houston, Texas 77027
(713) 224-6508 - Office
(713) 225-1560 - Fax

Email: [email protected]


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