A Melbourne Fraud Lawyer Can Help Businesses Combat Fraud
Fraud refers to a wide range of deceptive and often criminal activities targeting people and businesses. Although individuals are frequently victimized in these rip-offs, whether it is an internet phishing scam or an investment pyramid scheme, companies are also regularly on the losing end of a variety of fraud. A Melbourne fraud attorney at our firm can help you root out fraud and abuse internally and seek justice against scammers who try to take advantage of your business.
According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, organizations lose 5 percent of their annual revenue to fraud. The average fraud case costs a business more than $8,000 per month, the group reports.
Current and former employees and business partners are often the sources of fraud aimed at companies. Employees involved in corporate transactions and those with access to money or sensitive information pose a particular risk.
Businesses can use several legal tools to go after fraudsters, including through internal investigation, civil litigation, and criminal prosecution. Specific controls are available that companies can use to reduce the risk of fraud and limit deceitful behavior’s potential impact.
What is Business or Commercial Fraud in Florida?
Fraud is the intentional use of deception to deprive a person or entity of their legal rights or to secure something through unfair or unlawful gain. It is generally treated as a crime under Florida and federal laws, with potential steep monetary consequences and time behind bars for anyone convicted of a fraud offense.
Fraud can rear its ugly head in many ways when it comes to business settings. It often involves the use of false or misleading information for a fraudster’s gain.
A Melbourne fraud lawyer at our firm will advise that some of the most common forms of business fraud in Florida include:
Embezzlement is a relatively common crime when an employee of a business or organization uses their employer’s money for personal gain and without authorization.
Sometimes, employees will accept cash or other benefits in exchange for steering contracts or other business to an outside service provider, which harms the employee’s company by eliminating fair competition for goods and services.
In this form of embezzlement, workers do not fully report revenue, such as cash from sales or money from business transactions, and pocket the difference.
Common payroll scams include submitting false timesheets, avoiding repaying paycheck advances, and issuing “ghost” paychecks to people who do not exist or do not work for the company.
One way in which some vendors may try to scam companies is by tweaking invoices to overstate the services or goods provided or inflate the cost of those goods or services.
Data theft is an increasingly common threat to businesses. Thieves may use various forms of fraud to get their hands on sensitive corporate or personal information. The information can then be sold to shady characters or used to commit identity theft and a wide range of other harmful criminal offenses.
Stealing Trade Secrets
Certain employees, as a part of their jobs, may have access to information about the company. Operations must be kept secret for the business to maintain a competitive advantage. An employee who walks away with that information when they leave the job can cause significant damage.
A Melbourne Fraud Lawyer Can Help Identify Corporate Fraud in Florida
One of the problems with fraud is it can be challenging to detect. Any Florida business that suspects potential fraud should seek the advice of a seasoned Melbourne fraud attorney at our firm. A lawyer can help you determine whether fraudsters are at work and weigh your options for getting justice.
Once uncovered, businesses have various legal and other tools available to stop fraud, punish those behind it, and recover money damages for the deceptive activity’s impact.
Several legal claims companies can bring against employees, vendors, business partners, and others who commit business fraud include:
- Breach of contract: Employees and other businesses are legally liable when they violate the terms of legal agreements, whether it is an employment contract, a purchase order, or a contract for services. A Melbourne fraud lawyer at our firm can help you draft and review contracts to ensure they protect your company against a wide range of fraud.
- Business torts: Business torts are claims relating to legal duties that arise outside of contracts. For example, employees and businesses may generally have a responsibility not to defraud their employers, customers, or affiliates.
- Interference with contract: A standard business tort. A company alleges fraudulent or other activity unlawfully impeded its activities under a broad range of existing legal agreements.
- Negligent misrepresentation: Another common business tort, this claim can be used as a catch-all to cover general fraudulent activity.
- Trade secrets violations: Florida’s trade secrets law allows companies to seek compensation and other remedies for the misappropriation of certain sensitive information deemed a trade secret.
The earlier a company spots potential fraud and consults an experienced attorney, the sooner the business can take legal action to stop the fraud, punish wrongdoers and recoup related losses.
Speak with a Melbourne Fraud Attorney If Your Suspect Corporate Fraud or Want to Protect Your Business
If you are grappling with ongoing fraud or simply want to ensure you are appropriately protecting your company from deception, a Melbourne fraud lawyer at Lacey Lyons Rezanka can help.
We are experienced business litigators who have been helping companies on the Space Coast and across the state resolve a wide range of legal issues for decades. Our lawyers understand the commercial realities of doing business in Florida, and we have a strong track record of helping clients overcome legal hurdles along the way both in and out of the courtroom.
Our offices are conveniently located in Melbourne and Rockledge. Call us at 321-608-0890, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us online to schedule an appointment with a Melbourne fraud attorney.