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Fraud and Economic Injuries

Fraud is a false representation of a matter of fact that deceives or is intended to deceive another. There are several elements to fraud: (1) the false representation, which the maker of the statement knew to be false, (2) the intent to mislead, (3) the reliance of another on the fraud, which leads to injury. Other common economic torts include Tortious Interference, Conspiracy, and Restraint of Trade.


Recently in Fraud / Economic Injuries Category

Cop Sued for $1 Million for Allegedly Giving DUI 'Out of Spite'

Few things are more upsetting than when officers or other government officials maliciously use their position of power. Just ask Donald Hamlett, who was pulled over not once, but twice, for DUI charges in Chesapeake, Virginia, during the same year, by the same police officer.

Cleared of both charges, Hamlett is now suing the arresting officer, Frank Chappell, for $1 million. He believes the second arrest was malicious prosecution, claiming Chappell did so "out of spite, ill-will and hatred." Chappell denies any wrong doing, and will be represented by a local City Attorney.

You may have heard the story last year about a homeless vet giving his last $20 to a woman who had run out of gas near Philadelphia. And you might remember that woman and her boyfriend started a GoFundMe for the man, raising funds for food, shelter, and clothing, a campaign that apparently raised nearly $400,000.

What you might not have heard is that vet, Johnny Bobbitt, is back on the street, still addicted to drugs and panhandling for money. Bobbitt is claiming that the couple, Katie McClure and Mark D'Amico, have mismanaged the funds meant for him, and withheld almost half the money raised. He's now suing McClure and D'Amico, seeking a full accounting of the GoFundMe account, and blocking the couple from using any remaining funds.

When Can You Sue for Identity Theft?

With the convenience of technology comes new risks as well. Although identity theft can occur without using the internet, it does make this crime easier to commit. Having your identity stolen can be very difficult, especially since you may not discover it until much later than it actually occurred. Identity theft is a crime under federal law, and most states also have laws making it illegal.

But, considering the negative effects of being the victim of identity theft -- such as damage to your credit or loss of money -- you may wonder if you're entitled to pursue a civil lawsuit against the offender(s). Well, some states actually allow identity theft victims to sue under their identity theft laws. But, even if your specific state doesn't include such a provision, you still may be able to sue if you've been the victim of identity theft.

Last year, news broke that Wells Fargo salespeople had been setting up fraudulent accounts for customers for years in order to meet sales quotas, and charging customers fees on those accounts as well. The victims included small businesses as well as individuals, and employees even sued the bank over the fraud.

On top of that, a new lawsuit claims that Wells Fargo used "predatory and unlawful practices" to defraud members of the Navajo Nation, to the tune of $50 million. "Under intense pressure from superiors to grow sales figures," the suit claims, "Wells Fargo employees lied to Navajo consumers, telling elderly Navajo citizens who did not speak English that in order to have their checks cashed they needed to sign up for savings accounts they neither needed nor understood."

For the average person, few necessities are more confusing than health insurance. Even for the lucky few whose employers provide health coverage, just picking the right plan can be mind-numbing. So when those who are shopping on the open market or under the Affordable Care Act for a health insurance plan are told a charity will help them with their insurance premiums, that sounds like a good deal, right? And it sounds especially good for poor patients who need expensive treatments like dialysis.

But what if those charities are just fronts for the dialysis companies, helping those companies overcharge private insurers? What seems like a good deal for patients all of a sudden becomes fraud and artificially inflated stock prices for shareholders, according to two recent lawsuits.

The first lawsuit has been filed against Samsung as a result of the exploding Galaxy Note 7s that were recalled last month. Surprisingly, the lawsuit is not over the phone explosion itself, but rather the economic damages that the recall notice caused to consumers. A judge still needs to approve the class-action status of the lawsuit.

For the 1.9 million Samsung phones that were subject to the recall in the U.S., consumers were advised to cease using and power down their phones. That left the phones unusable, leaving many consumers not just without a phone, but still on the hook for pricey phone bills. That’s exactly what this lawsuit is covering, as well as incidental damages and loss in value.

Fake Injuries and Clinics Used in Elaborate Insurance Fraud Scheme

Federal authorities in Grand Rapids, Michigan last month named four people in an indictment alleging an elaborate insurance and healthcare fraud ring. The quartet reportedly set up medical clinics and staged car crashes to defraud insurers, as well as paying people to participate in staged crashes or to make false claims, stating they were patients at the medical clinics.

The scheme went on from January 2014 to May 2015, according to a report in Michigan Live. But the patients did not receive any therapy or medical care for their alleged injuries. The defendants are accused of submitting over 100 fraudulent claims to one insurance company and were paid about $52,000 reportedly.

Types of Nursing Home Abuse

The youngest and oldest among us are vulnerable and exposed to abuse more than most other populations. But elderly people are exposed to some added abuse dangers that children do not face.

Elder abuse is unfortunately common and it happens for many reasons. Being in nursing homes and in the hands of professional caregivers increases the risk of mistreatment. Plus, older people are much more likely to face financial exploitation. This is what to look out for.

Can You Sue for a Damaged Credit Rating?

Your credit rating, if it’s good, is an asset and can be more valuable than tangible things you own. That number represents your reliability as a borrower and will impact your ability to obtain financing, so if someone damages your credit — particularly a time when you’re seeking financing of some kind — they cause you a kind of financial injury that may be compensable after a lawsuit.

Winning a damaged credit claim is not easy. But it can be done and people have won these cases. So let’s take a look at a sample case to get an idea of how you make this claim and what you have to show.

Getting Paid: Collecting on a Judgment or Jury Award

So you won your suit against a defendant and were awarded money in the form of a judgment but now you don't know what to do. How do you go about collecting on a judgment or jury award?

A judgment is a court order and enforceable. Although the precise details will depend on where you are attempting to collect and a state's specific process, let's look at the general principles behind judgment and collection.