Florida Fraud Laws: Criminal vs. Civil Fraud

Application of fraud laws in Florida can be complicated, and depends on intent in order to prove a criminal case, as is outlined in this lengthy article on contractor fraud cases in the St. Pete Times.

The key in pursuing criminal fraud charges is about the intent of the person or company accused. If they agreed to a contract to perform a job, and had no intention of completing the tasks, then it is a case of fraud.

However, most cases where businesses do not live up to the contractual agreements expected by individuals or other businesses, are at least initially considered to be a bad business decision or practice, or a simple contract dispute.

Clearly this outcome is frustrating to anyone who believes they’ve been scammed. One of the issues is that prosecutors like to win cases, and they prefer simple cases.

In the article, many of these contractor fraud cases have only been pursued as criminal matters due to the victims on research and perseverance investigating and finding previous clear prior evidence of other victims with similar stories.

For a criminal prosecution of consumer fraud, most district attorney’s are going to want to see this clear pattern of intent to defraud. If that isn’t perfectly clear, then these cases are both difficult to prove and complicated to prosecute.

But it cases where a person clearly took money in return for no good or services, the defendant could be facing serious fraud and grand theft charges.

If you are accused of committing criminal fraud in Florida, please contact us to speak about your case. If you face criminal charges, you need the advice of an experienced Florida criminal defense lawyer. We can offer our advice and a case evaluation of your charges as part of a free consultation, so call today.

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