Issues of fraud most often arise from business transactions in Atlanta. Thus, if and when you find yourself in the position of acting as a broker or agent of another in such a transaction, you should be aware that your actions will be highly scrutinized by those who entrusted you with assets. Any losses (accompanied by your profits) may immediately be met with skepticism and accusations. Defending yourself from allegations of fraud requires that you understand how Georgia defines this offense.
Section 16-8-3 of Georgia’s Code of Crimes and Offenses states that obtaining property by deceitful means or artful practice with the intention of depriving another of that property constitutes fraud. Notice the inclusion of the words “with the intention of.” Per the law, you cannot accidently commit fraud. Rather, you must have intended to secure a business partner’s property through your actions.
Proving intent might seem difficult given that it is seemingly so subjective. Fortunately, the state has provided a well-defined explanation of what it views as intent. It includes:
- Creating or confirming an impression that you know or have reason to believe is false
- Failing to correct a false impression that you have previously confirmed
- Preventing another from discovering information about property involved in a transaction
- Selling or transferring property you know (and do not inform the recipient of) is subject to a lien, claim or other financial obstacle to its enjoyment, regardless of whether such claim is a matter of public record
- Promising to perform services that you have no intention of performing
If any of these elements is not present in your case, then it may be difficult to argue that you intended to defraud anyone.