What were your intentions?

Most in Irvine may view criminal activity as being fairly black and white; in any supposedly quetionable instance where someone is injured or suffers a loss, someone else must be to blame. This attitude is particularly prevalent when it comes to white collar crime. Yet is the result of your actions (to which your accusers may refer to as your “scheme”) enough to convict you of such activity? Fortunately, the answer to that question is no. There must also be some element of intent. 

Simply put, there may be scenarios where people suffer financial losses even though your actions related to those losses were done in good faith. The fact that you may have never intended to defraud anyone must be taken into account. Often, prosectors will attempt to use the losses resulting from your actions as proof of your intent. Yet in instances where another reasonable person might have acted in a similar manner (or where actions similar to yours might have produced the results you promised), then the use of such results as evidence is challenged. 

What if your actions never result in any financial harm to your clients. In a 1994 U.S. Supreme Court ruling (as shared by the U.S. Justice Department), a standard was established that put the burden of proof on prosecutors to produce proof of your fradulent intentions through methods independent of your alleged scheme in cases where only allegations from your client exist (without any actual financial losses). Even in cases where you are believed to have been deceitful, authorities must still show that you contemplated injuring your clients through your alleged “scheme” in order to be charged with fraud. 

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