The FBI defines business fraud as activities that “..consists of dishonest and illegal activities perpetrated by individuals or companies in order to provide an advantageous financial outcome to those persons or establishments.” This is a loose definition at best and encompasses a large range of activities that can be considered illegal. There is a fine line between competition and business fraud that you may find yourself on the wrong side of during the course of your career.
Charges and convictions are based on facts as well as interpretation of those facts. If you have been unfairly accused of business fraud, it is recommended that you immediately contact an Austin Criminal Defense Lawyer. Business fraud convictions carry serious consequences that can negatively affect your career and more importantly, your freedom.
Different Types of Business Fraud
While the definition of business fraud is clear, actions that are attributable to business fraud are not as clear. There are a litany of fraudulent behaviors that can be deemed an infraction of Austin Criminal Law. Listed below, you will find some of the more common instances of business fraud as reported by the Federal Bureau of Investigations.
- Internet Auction Fraud: This involves a fraudulent financial transaction or exchange on sites like ebay and amazon.
- Non-payment of Funds: Instances when a good has been delivered or services rendered and payment has not been released.
- Charity Fraud: This type of business fraud occurs when a business or individual solicits money under the guise of charity and subsequently uses those funds for personal gain.
Unfortunately, there are thousands of cases of business fraud brought upon individuals that are not aware of the illegal practices of their employers and/or business partners. These charges can be federally prosecuted and will more than likely require the expertise of a Criminal Defense Attorney in Austin Texas to defend your innocence.
How To Avoid Business Fraud
In today’s fast paced world, it can be difficult to avoid becoming a victim of business fraud. While the current codes of criminal law in Austin are a great deterrent to the perpetrators of fraud, they do not eradicate these types of crimes. However, there are ways to limit your exposure and decrease your risks.
- Do business with reputable and well researched businesses/people
- Do not work with companies that are reluctant to provide you with information about themselves.
- Avoid doing business with third-party resellers if possible.
- Limit the amount of business you do with companies that do not have a physical address.
This list is not all encompassing, but offers a great foundation to build on.
What To Do If You Are a Victim of Business Fraud
Being a victim of business fraud can be very costly. Not only can your credit be destroyed and finances ruined, it takes a lot of time to repair the damage of business fraud in many cases. If you are a victim of business fraud, it is recommended that you alert the Austin Police Department as soon as it happens. In addition, be sure to preserve any incriminating evidence that will help you in civil proceedings as well as the prosecutor in pursuing criminal charges.
Conversely, if you are a business owner or affiliate of a person that has committed acts of business fraud that you were not aware of, you may be unfairly charged with crimes. If you are not properly represented by an expert of Criminal Defense Law in Austin, Texas, you run a much higher risk of being charged and convicted of business fraud.