How to Deal with Fraud Charges and Allegations?

4 min read

Fraud allegations or charges can ruin a company’s reputation and its relationships with other businesses. Fraud allegations can arise due to a number of situations. Before taking any action, you need to consider your options and fully assess your next steps. This is because your response will later shape how the proceedings move further and how many options you have in the future.

Let’s take a look at how, as a business, you should react in case you’re alleged of fraud.

Steps to Take After You’re Charged with Fraud Allegations

Stay Silent

Staying silent is recommended in times like these. Very often, it’s not the initial fraud charges that damage the company’s reputation but the actions they take to fend off these charges in a hurry. After being charged or accused of fraud, the first priority is to not look guilty. Saying or doing the wrong things is the simplest way to come across as guilty. Moreover, if the charges are proven later, these acts could worsen the legal implications.

Due to this, business lawyers who deal with these cases frequently advise companies to remain silent and avoid speaking or taking any action regarding it on their own. Consult a lawyer and do as they tell you to.

Not speaking about the charges includes the company officials not speaking about them to their friends, family members, or media personalities. Moreover, if a law enforcement agency confronts your company’s officials regarding the matter, make sure to cooperate without offering any explanation or proof of not committing fraud. These agencies can’t enforce anything before a trial or a settlement.

Don’t Admit Any Fault

Although it’s pretty clear, the last thing you want to do before the trial for your fraud charges is to admit to the fraud or any other fault leading to the fraud. The plaintiff may try to intimidate you by showing bank statements, financial reports, or any other evidence they think will hold against you, but you should not admit to any wrongdoing before getting into court or without your lawyer present.

Ask for a Hard Copy of the Charges/Accusations

When dealing with fraud in the business world, the plaintiff may try to intimidate the defendant using specific jargon and statements. However, you can easily look past it by asking them for a hard copy of the accusations. This is your legal right, and they will provide you with the charges written on a formal paper.

Getting a hard copy of these charges will help you easily understand what the charges are, what you need to work on, and what to avoid. You can also ensure nothing is being taken out of context. Remember, all of this needs to be done in the presence of a business lawyer.

A lawyer reading a document

Possible Defence for Fraud

After understanding the charges properly, your lawyer will suggest your next move, i.e., help you prepare for the defence against the charges. These options usually include:

1. Identity Theft

Sometimes, fraud charges are levelled in case a business’ identity is stolen. These types of fraud are common with the rise of the online banking and e-commerce industry. If the fraud has occurred over the internet and the victim has not met you face-to-face, this is the most likely defence your lawyer will prepare.

2. Misunderstandings

Sometimes, fraud accusations are made because of misunderstandings or mistakes. For example, another company may accuse you of fraud because they think you were trying to take advantage of a situation. However, your information and knowledge about that particular matter make your choices logical instead of malicious.

Your lawyer will prepare the required evidence to prove your case if this is the defence they choose. They can also settle before proceeding to trial.

3. Insufficient Evidence

Sometimes, your business lawyer will prepare a defence that’s not focused on proving you innocent but on whether there is sufficient evidence to hold you guilty.

For you to be convicted of fraud, the plaintiff must present sufficient evidence to remove reasonable doubts to back their claim. Your lawyer will try to point out the case’s weaknesses and get it dismissed.

A lawyer speaking in court

In short, having an experienced lawyer by your side throughout the case to advise you and plan your course of action is crucial. If you’re searching for an experienced business lawyer in Canada, Nanda & Associate Lawyers can help you.

They have a team of business lawyers who deal with legal issues regarding businesses, including defence against fraud allegations. Moreover, they also have personal injury lawyers, immigration lawyers, commercial real estate lawyers, civil litigation lawyers, and more.

Book a meeting with them today.

About the Author

Scott Leslie is a business lawyer and has been practising law for the last 15 years. She has been associated with Nanda & Associate Lawyers for over 7 years and helps businesses resolve disputes, including defence against fraud charges.