Fraud, generally, is any sort of deception or misrepresentation that is intentional and used for some sort of gain. Commercial fraud in Florida occurs within the corporate setting and can be more specifically described as any deceptive practice or violation of law that is committed by a corporate executive in order to receive certain financial gains. If you have been accused and/or charged with a commercial fraud claim, it is important that you seek legal representation in order to protect your rights.
What type of actions or activities would be considered commercial fraud?
There are a range of activities which may give rise to a cause of action for commercial fraud, all involving deliberate and criminal conduct; and it is important to recognize actions or activities that could lead to such commercial fraud. Generally, commercial fraud may involve illegal activities such as:
1) Insider trading. This is the trading of a public company’s stock by employees or other individuals who have access to non-public information.
2) Misuse of company funds. For example, personal use of company money by giving oneself unauthorized salary increases or paying for one’s personal vacations.
3) Deceiving the government, investors and/or the public about a company’s financial performance. For example, understating a company’s profits to mislead the tax authorities and reduce the company’s tax burden.
The impacts of such deceptive practices are far and wide, as they create a sense of distrust and can ruin reputations of individuals and the affiliated businesses. Moreover, it can cost individuals and business entities millions of dollars each year.
How is commercial fraud identified?
Typically, government agencies or company employees are the main sources who identify and/or allege activities that may meet the criteria of commercial fraud. For one, financial regulatory agencies within the government have a duty to find and investigate potential commercial fraud. In doing so, governmental agencies have established laws, known as “whistleblower” statutes, in order to encourage employees to report questionable practices and potential business fraud in exchange for insulation and immunity from retaliatory action (such as being fired). This creates a more open and protective space for employees, who witness the day to day activities of their business and observe potential commercial fraud, to report any such activities.
Individuals who are found guilty of commercial fraud can face severe penalties not limited to fines and jail time. Companies found guilty of commercial fraud can also face severe fines and may even be forced to end all business operations.
Contact an Business Attorney You Can Trust
An allegation of commercial fraud is a serious matter that should not be treated lightly. The Law Offices of Peter M. Feaman, P.A., serving Boynton Beach, Miami, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Lake Worth and all of South Florida, is ready and available to represent those accused of commercial fraud. If you are victim of commercial fraud we are here to serve you as well. Don’t waste any more time, to begin your free, personalized consultation, contact our firm today by calling us at (561) 734-5552.