Fraud Alert!

As a business litigation attorney, I have a lot of people come into my office claiming they want to sue for fraud.


However, even if I take their case, I usually do not sue for fraud.


Why not?


Fraud is one of the few causes of action (the theory you are suing under) that requires attorneys to plead their case with specificity.


The elements of a fraud claim are 1) the making of a statement, 2) the falsity of the statement, 3) an intent to deceive, called "scienter", 4) reasonable reliance on the statement by the injured party and 5) injury sustained as the result of the reliance. 


Basically, a person has to convince you to do something, like loan money, by making a promise that they know is false when they made the promise, you did it (loaned the money) based on their promise and you suffered damages (loss of money).


To have a successful fraud case, you need to plead the who, what, where, when and how including dates and times that the promise occurred.


To make a fraud case even harder is that failing to keep the promise does not mean it is fraud. They had to intend to not keep the promise when the promise was made.


If, at the time the promise was made, they intended to keep the promise and then decided against it, it is not fraud.


Also, in New York, you cannot sue for a breach of contract and fraud under the same facts. The fraud has to be independent of the breach of contract.


Now, if you feel you have a fraud claim, please speak to an attorney. If it is not fraud, you may still have a case.


Thank you for reading, my business is to protect your business!

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