The Black’s Law Dictionary defines fraud as a knowing misrepresentation of the truth or concealment of a material fact to induce another to act to his or her detriment.
According to the ACFE, “fraud is the intentional misrepresentation of a material fact, to cause again to one party and a loss to another party.”
From this we see the elements of fraud:
(1) Intent (You are of sound mind. Know the right thing to do in the circumstances).
(2) Misrepresentation (you tell lies knowingly i.e., misleading statement of fact).
(3) For personal or friend’s benefit.
(4) At the loss or expense of the company or another person.
To allege fraud against any party, all four elements of fraud must be proved at a minimum. And that is why you need great investigators to uncover fraud and bring culprits to book. A great investigator must ask who, did what, where, when how and why. In the process, one can uncover omissions and commissions by the suspect.
Is the person of sound mind?
The only defence against the soundness of mind is a plea of insanity or intoxication by the accused. If the accused or the suspect can prove that s/he was not in a sound state of mind at the time the crime is recorded or reported having been committed, they may be let off-hook. And indeed, in some capital offences, some suspects have attempted to plead insanity only to be subjected to expert medical examination, which proves otherwise. Insanity plea, unless genuine, usually falls flat.
If you have ever taken a police statement during an investigation into any allegations, the first question requires you to state your biodata –name, date of birth, place of birth, employer, title, the year you were employed, etc. Your ability to recall such information helps to assess your credibility as a witness or suspect, whatever. Someone who remembers such information with crisp clarity may not later turn around and plead insanity.
To be continued.
I remain, Mustapha B Mugisa, Mr Strategy. All rights reserved.