Business Fraud & Misrepresentation Attorneys in San Mateo County
In 2001, one of the largest companies in the United States suddenly found itself crumbling before our eyes. Enron, once a highly respected player in the energy business, was falling into chaos under the weight of an accounting fraud scandal that would leave top executives with nothing to say, according to reporting at the time from the Washington Post:
“Your Honor, on the advice of my council, I respectfully decline to answer any questions based on the rights afforded me under the 5th amendment of the United States Constitution”– Andrew Fastow, Enron CFO
What more could he have said at that point? The company had finally been caught after a multi-year fraud that would leave tens of thousands without a job and cost many people their entire lives’ savings. It was an epic blow up of corporate accounting and deception that has impacts still being felt by some to this day.
These cases are incredibly complex, and while many are not as dramatic as the tale of Enron, many cases still need more attention than they are receiving. Competent lawyers are urgently needed to help some companies fight back against the damage that fraud and misrepresentation could do to their companies.
Contracts And Misrepresentation
When a company enters into a contract with another company, they often feel a false sense of security that they are now protected from any misdeeds. They may believe that the other company would never violate the terms of their agreement now that they have some legal obligation and documentation of the transaction that the two sides have entered into. However, that is not necessarily true. Even companies that enter into contracts don’t always follow through on their commitments like they are supposed to.
One of the most common types of fraudulent behavior in contracts is when one party attempts to hide some portion of its debts from another side. They may think that as long as they can mask the debts they owe, they will have the ability to pull the wool over the eyes of the other parties they are in business with. They may do the following:
- Shift debt around to third-party contractors that they work with
- Inflate the value of their assets to make it appear as though the debts are a smaller portion of their net worth than they are
- Restructure certain debts right before entering a contract to make those debts appears less serious
There are many things that a determined company can do if they want to defraud their contract partners. It is frustrating to learn that you have gotten into a business contract with a partner willing to take things this far, but it sometimes happens. If you have found yourself in this spot, you need to know that it is not a comfortable one to remain in, and you should try to take steps right now to free yourself from the contract you have entered into. You have no business staying locked into a deal with a company behaving illegally.
What Must Be Proven In Court?
Believing that a business partner is acting in a fraudulent manner and proving that to be the case are two very different things. You need to bring the full force of the law to the table if you make explosive claims like that, and even then, you need to ensure that you are right about what you are saying. We all like to think that we know what we are talking about when these types of things come up, but is that true?
Here are some points that must be proven in in court during a fraud case:
- Defendant knowingly made false statements to you
- You relied on the false information to take certain actions with your business
- The fact that you relied on Defendant to provide you truthful information was reasonable
- Your reliance on the client’s information caused your company some harm
This means that you received insufficient information from the other party in your contract. You had no reason to suspect that the information was faulty, you acted on the information, and it caused harm to your business as a result. The court needs to believe every piece of that to achieve what you are looking for when you bring your case to them. It is not easy to pull all of that off, but it can be done. It is easier to do when you bring a seasoned attorney to handle the case. You don’t want to risk putting up with someone who doesn’t know what they are doing.
Attorneys With Solid Track Records Are Your Best Bet
When reviewing the buffet of options before you, there is no doubt that hiring a seasoned attorney is one of the best ways to protect your rights and make it a lot easier to get the kind of assistance you need in your fraud case. You should have the ability to get someone with a long history of fighting for clients who are battling against fraud and misrepresentation.
Given that this is business litigation, hiring more than one attorney to work on the case is probably necessary. After all, these cases are often incredibly complex, and the seer workload is more than any single human being can handle all by themselves. However, a team of attorneys can sift through the paperwork until they can find what they need to make your case for you.
The fastest way for your business to receive the compensation it deserves is to strike a deal with the other side before a trial is necessary. Thus, it is wise to find attorneys who are not afraid of negotiation and know how to do it well. No company should give up too much of its claim, but some deals can be struck to the satisfaction of all involved.
For more information about how experienced attorneys can help you achieve success in your case, please contact us. We are standing by to provide the help that you need.