Arthur R. Lehman, L.L.C.

What is fraud and how is it proven in court?

New York business people know that not everyone out there is completely honest all the time. Dishonesty on the part of others can be costly for businesses. What options does a business person have in dealing with these costs? Depending on the circumstances, a fraud lawsuit may be a reasonable course of action. It is important to know how fraud might be proved in court.

A lack of honesty is always an element of fraud, whether it be deceitful conduct, a false statement or a misrepresentation. A person committing fraud does so by gaining something of value by misleading or deceiving another person. In order to sue someone for fraud, there usually must be evidence of bad faith on the part of the alleged fraudster.

Moreover, a person alleging fraud must usually prove four elements against an alleged fraudster. First, the plaintiff must usually prove that a misrepresentation of a material fact took place. This misrepresentation must have been perpetrated by a person who knew that the misrepresentation was false. The plaintiff must have justifiably relied on the misrepresentation, and there must be actual injury or loss incurred by the plaintiff.

Many jurisdictions require that plaintiffs allege and prove fraud with particularity. This requires that the allegations be made with some detail, and it requires that all of the elements mentioned above be proven by a preponderance of the evidence. Experienced New York business litigation attorneys can help fraud victims learn more about these strict requirements and how to proceed with a potential lawsuit.

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