New Mexico Business Fraud Attorneys
Business fraud can take many different forms and can be difficult to identify until it has gravely affected a business. When it comes to your business and fraud, it is important to know that fraud can be internal in that it is perpetrated by employees or business partners, or it can be external in that it may involve purported customers or clients, or third parties with whom you have had no business dealings at all. It is critical to protect your business from fraud and to take steps to remedy fraud when it happens. Our experienced New Mexico fraud attorneys can assist you. Do not hesitate to get in touch with Slate Stern Law to learn more about how we help companies that have been defrauded.
What is Fraud?
Did you know that more than 80% of businesses in the U.S. experience some type of financial loss because of fraud? According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, some of these losses are significant, and in total, companies in the U.S. lose more than $700 billion on an annual basis as a result of fraud. Given that fraud can take so many different forms, it is critical to learn more about it.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) defines business fraud as “dishonest and illegal activities perpetrated by individuals or companies in order to provide an advantageous financial outcome to those persons or establishments.” The FBI explains that business fraud can also be described as corporate fraud, and that the term includes a wide variety of “schemes [that] often appear under the guide of legitimate business practices.” Fraud can occur through in-person transactions and interactions as well as over the phone, email, or internet. Various forms of fraud involve dealers or other businesses with whom your business pays for goods or services or for whom your business provides goods or services. At the same time, fraud can also involve actions taken by other owners of your business, or by employees.
Common Types of Fraud That Can Harm Your Business
There are many kinds of fraud, and it is critical to know about the various kinds of fraudulent schemes that could affect your company. The following are examples of common types of fraud that can harm a business:
- Identity theft: When another person or entity steals the identity of your business and uses it to access your business’s credit and finances, your business can face significant losses. There are various ways in which identity theft can occur, from an employee using information from a business bank statement or a federal tax identification number to a third party with whom you have never had any contact accessing and using this information through hacking or by other means.
- Money fraud: This type of fraud occurs at businesses where customers can pay in cash and use fake bills to pay for goods or services. Businesses should train employees to spot counterfeit bills or should consider a counterfeit money detector.
- Payroll fraud: This type of fraud typically involves an employee providing false information about their hours worked, the number or amount of sales made, or other false statements in order to be paid more than what they are owed. Payroll fraud can also involve an employee asking for a pay advance and failing to repay that advance or performing work for the amount. In some cases, payroll fraud involves one employee asking another employee to “clock in” on their behalf even if they are not at work. Payroll fraud is more common in small businesses than in larger businesses and corporations.
- Insurance fraud: There are a few different ways in which employees can commit insurance fraud, but it typically involves workers’ compensation and making false reports about workplace injuries. As a result, businesses can end up having to pay higher premiums or additional expenses related to false insurance claims.
- Tax fraud: Misreporting expenses or earnings to the IRS is the most common way in which tax fraud occurs, and a business owner could be responsible for tax fraud if a tax accountant breaches his or her duty or another employee responsible for recording expenses or payroll information provides false information.
- Return fraud: When a business sells products or goods, that business can be at risk of losing money due to return fraud, which refers to scenarios in which customers return stolen items or make false claims about failing to receive items in order to get a refund.
- Asset misappropriation or embezzlement: Asset misappropriation or embezzlement occurs when an employee takes assets or money from the business for their personal gain.
Contact Our Santa Fe Business Fraud Attorneys Today
If you have any concerns about fraud affecting your company, or if you need to move forward with a fraud case, our experienced Santa Fe business fraud lawyers will work tirelessly to help your business achieve a favorable outcome and to resolve a case of fraud. At Slate Stern Law, we have years of experience representing businesses in a wide variety of business litigation matters, and we want to help you recover what you have lost due to fraud. Contact Slate Stern Law today for more information about our strategies for handling fraud.