Current technological resources and economic downturn contribute to the increased likelihood of fraud. However, fraud is not limited to faceless entities either. A transaction or contract may arise out of misrepresentations or omissions that later incur damages against your business—even if you have known the other party for years. Fortunately, legal relief for these claims is available to you.
These actions may be based upon common law fraud, or you can have a cause of action arising from the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act (NJCFA) and other statutes. As your business litigation attorneys, we investigate, negotiate, and, if necessary, litigate your fraud allegations. We can even help you assess future risk of fraud, so you never endure this experience again.
Common Law Fraud
New Jersey’s elements of common law fraud include:
- A material misrepresentation of an existing or past fact
- Knowledge by the defendant of its falsity
- The intention of the accused that you rely upon it
- Your reliance on the misrepresentation
Common law fraud frequently occurs alongside other causes of action, like unjust enrichment and breach of contract. If you lost money or property because a party purposely misrepresented a product, service, or other important matter to you, it is likely you have a common law fraud case. Especially if you relied on a misrepresented statement to make a major decision.
Your damages would be the amount of money or property you lost relying on the declaration. If you find yourself in this situation, it is best to contact an attorney immediately because New Jersey limits the amount of time you can bring a fraud action to six years. Besides meeting legal guidelines, acting quickly also preserves evidence, so it is best to not to delay further action.
New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act
The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act makes it unlawful for any individual to deceive others through fraudulent commercial practices. This act includes making material misrepresentations, like those described in common law fraud above, and omitting or concealing information. This law if often evoked when there is a consumer complaint but it can be used in business litigation cases as well.
Your claim must prove the following if you bring an action under the NJCFA:
- Unlawful conduct by defendants
- Plaintiff’s ascertaining of their loss
- A link between the unlawful conduct and the loss
While common law fraud is limited to misrepresented statements, a cause of action under the NJCFA develops in those cases where you are not given all relevant information in a transaction. If it is shown that the other party intentionally omitted those facts, you are entitled to damages and attorney fees.
The Law Offices of John J. Zidziunas& Associates offers business litigation services that can also help you with fraud claims. Contact us today for a free telephone consultation at (973) 509-8500 to see what can be done when you fall victim to a misrepresentation or omission of information.