- makes a material misrepresentation;
- the representation was false;
- the party knows it is false or made the statement recklessly without any knowledge of the truth;
- makes the representation intending that the other party rely upon it; and
- the other party relied upon the misrepresentation to their detriment.
In court, a representation is considered “material” if a substantial likelihood exists that a reasonable plaintiff would consider the representation important in entering into the transaction in question. For example, if in selling a house, the owner tells the potential buyer that the house was build in 1988 when in reality it was built in 1987, this might not be considered material because most buyers would not care about the one-year discrepancy. However, a ten-year difference might be considered a material misrepresentation.
We see many fraud cases involving the sale of residential real estate. The most common material misrepresentations in real estate fraud include:
- Claims that the foundation is in good shape when in fact it is damaged and needs foundation work.
- Statements that the home is free of termites when the opposite is true.
- Representations that the home has never flooded. This is quite common, especially in Houston. A flooded house increases chances that it will flood again and there are usually other problems such as mold or infestations as a result.
Fraud can arise in many transactions including:
- inducements to enter contracts for sale for any personal property or real estate
- sales of equipment
- inducements to enter partnership or company agreements
- sales of stocks
- sales of “investments”
- sales of companies
- many other transactions
The fraud lawyers at Michael P. Fleming and Associates have extensive civil litigation experience both defending and prosecuting lawsuits for fraud. Call us to discuss any fraud matter that you may have questions about.
Have you been the victim of fraud? Fraudulent conduct can occur in many transactions. If you believe you have been taken advantage of through fraudulent conduct of a business partner, broker, seller, salesman, “investment advisor” or other person that gained your confidence through trickery, call the fraud lawyers at Michael P. Fleming & Associates today at (713) 221-6800 for a free consultation. Michael P. Fleming, former Harris County Attorney, and his associates will track down and chase the crooks to recover your lost investment. We have successfully handled fraud lawsuits on behalf of victims and sought damages for their losses.
If you have been wrongfully accused of fraud, call or email us now to discuss your defenses to such a lawsuit. We regularly represent clients both suing and defending cases involving allegations of fraud.