What is Fraud? Our experienced Virginia Business Fraud Lawyers can explain the legal complexities surrounding the doctrine of fraud. It is a common “F” word that is often thrown around in everyday life, but its technicalities are much harder to prove in the courtroom. Suffice it to say that not every misleading statement meets the legal criteria for fraud. Remember, that if proven, a fraud claim potentially carries punitive damages against the person who committed the fraud. Virginia law defines fraud as follows: (1) a false representation, (2) of a material fact, (3) made intentionally and knowingly, (4) with intent to mislead, (5) reliance by the party misled, and (6) resulting damage to him. see Van Deusen v. Snead, 247 Va. 324, 441 S.E.2d 207 (1994).
Standard of Proof: Fraud must be proven by clear and convincing evidence. see Mortarino v. Consultant Engineering Services, 251 Va. 289, 295, 467 S.E.2d 778, 782 (1996).
Va. Code § 8.01-243(A) – Statute of Limitations and the Discovery Rule. Under Virginia law, claims for fraud are subject to a two year statute of limitations period, which is subject to the discovery rule – that is, the clock does not start ticking until the fraud is discovered or by the exercise of due diligence reasonably should have been discovered. According to STB Mktg. Corp. v. Zolfaghari, 240 Va. 140, 144 (1990):
The language “by the exercise of due diligence reasonable should have been discovered,” as used in Code § 8.01-249, means “such a measure of prudence, activity or assiduity, as is property to be expected from, and ordinarily exercised by, a reasonable and prudent man under the particular circumstances; not measured by any absolute standard, but depending on the relative facts of the special case.”
Types of Fraud:
At our firm, we believe our track record speaks for itself. Our attorneys have secured several positive resolutions for clients facing accusations of fraud, including:
View our other notable cases to learn more about our other victories in business litigation. Located in Fairfax, Virginia, we are the go-to law firm for high-stakes fraud litigation in northern Virginia. Call our office at 703-652-5506 to learn more about our services, or reach out online to schedule your first consultation.