Less is more? Brief remarks on fraud in court

Fraud might be expected to occur in a bank rather than in a court and the average business enterprise will rarely suspect that it could fall victim to fraud in court. This mistake could cost them dearly.

Near rather than far

Fraud can occur when the perpetrator causes someone to dispose of their own property or someone else’s property in a detrimental way. Meanwhile, under the law, the person’s actions must be aimed at material gain. In addition, they must have misled the other person, exploited a mistake made by that person or exploited inability to comprehend what they are doing. A typical case is entering into an agreement without intending to honor it. This is because few people are aware that being overconfident when signing contracts can lead to criminal liability. A business enterprise that takes money but does not deliver the respective goods could be committing fraud. This is the most common example of this kind of offence. Even fewer people know, on the other hand, that fraud can occur even in court.

Be cautious about what you write!

In the case of fraud during judicial proceedings, the judge is misled, and this causes the judge to mistakenly dispose of the property of the victim. This is done in various ways, for example the perpetrator will often fabricate evidence by producing fake documents used in the case. If the perpetrator gains through the court finding in their favor, this will be fraud in court. There is a danger that merely making an untrue assertion in a statement of claim and tampering with evidence could be found to be fraud of this nature. Therefore, even when defending one’s rights, attention needs to be paid to what is written and sent to a court. It is easy to succumb to the temptation to present one’s standpoint subjectively and omit important documents. This is not very sensible, if only from the perspective of tactics in a court case – omitting documents in this way can come to light with unpleasant consequences later in the case. It needs to be borne in mind however that this ‘cunning’ move could lead to criminal liability, in addition to causing problems in the court case. Anyone who considers this needs to think twice about whether it is worth it, because in truth, there is nothing to be gained by lying. Winning a case may be tempting, but the risk of a tête-à-tête with the public prosecutor is too high. It is always best to consult a lawyer.

Author: Krzystof Witek

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