Misrepresentation definition in fraud cases:
Fraudulent misrepresentation definition about material facts is most often thought of when the term fraud is used. Define misrepresentation cases can be prosecuted criminally or civilly. The gist of the offence is the deliberate making of false statements to induce the intended victim to part with money or property.
The specific elements of proof required to establish a misrepresentation definition vary somewhat according to where the fraud occurred and whether the case is brought as a criminal or civil action, but the elements normally include:
- The defendant made a false statement (i.e., define misrepresentation of a fact);
- The false statement was material (i.e., the statement was sufficiently important or relevant to influence the making of a decision);
- The defendant knew the representation was false;
- The victim relied on the misrepresentation definition;
- The victim suffered damages as a result of the misrepresentation definition.
Although it might be necessary to prove that the victim relied upon the false statements and actually suffered a loss in a civil case, these elements of proof might not be necessary in a criminal prosecution. In addition, in some statutes, materiality is assumed and need not be proved to define misrepresentation.
Normally, only material false statements may serve as the basis for a misrepresentation definition about material facts case. Materiality usually refers to statements sufficiently important or relevant to a reasonable person in acting or making a decision. For example about misrepresentation definition, a claim that a company enjoyed a 50 percent growth in profits would probably be material to a prospective investor, whereas a statement that the company was considering moving its headquarters from Toronto to New York City might not be. The materiality of allegedly false statements often is a central issue in security fraud cases and misrepresentation definition.
Moreover, in most instances, only false representations of "presently existing facts" can establish liability to define misrepresentation. That is, opinions by nonexperts, speculative statements about future events, and other general assertions, even if made with the intent to mislead, may not provide the basis for a misrepresentation definition because such statements are not material facts. For example, a used car salesperson who assures a customer that a 20 years old car, which was towed into the lot, will give the customer "years of driving pleasure" probably cannot be held liable to define misrepresentation. The salesperson, however, could be liable in the misrepresentation definition if he tells the customer that the car has been driven only 15,000 kilometres but knows that it has been driven 150,000 kilometres.
The general rule that opinions or speculative statements cannot give rise to a successful misrepresentation definition is often applied to prevent fraud claims in contract disputes. A party to a contract who promises to perform certain services by a particular but fails to do so generally may not be prosecuted for fraud unless the plaintiff can demonstrate that the defendant had the intent not to perform the promised services when the contract was made. Of course, the other party may file an action for breach of contract.
Also, the general rule precluding fraud actions based on opinions or speculative statements is subject to certain exceptions, principally cases involving opinions provided by professional advisers such as Certified Public Accountants.