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Have You Been Defrauded?—Fraud and Negligent Misrepresentation

There are many unscrupulous people or businesses that try to take advantage of and defraud hardworking, honest people. In fact, the FBI lists many common fraud schemes, including loan modification, debt elimination, and telemarketing fraud schemes. See www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/fraud; and

If you have been defrauded, you can obtain relief through the legal system. A couple of legal claims related to fraudulent claims include (1) common law fraud and (2) negligent misrepresentation.

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In Utah, you must show the following to prove a claim for fraud:

“(1) a representation;

“(2) concerning a presently existing material fact;

“(3) which was false;

“(4) which the representor either (a) knew to be false, or (b) made recklessly, knowing that he or she had insufficient knowledge on which to base such representation;

“(5) for the purpose of inducing the other party to act upon it;

“(6) that the other party, acting reasonably and in ignorance of its falsity;

“(7) did in fact rely upon it;

“(8) and was thereby induced to act;

“(9) to his or her injury and damage.”

Robinson v. Tripco Investment, Inc., 21 P.3d 219, 2000 Utah Ct. App. 200 (Utah App. 2000)(quoting Maynard v. Wharton, 912 P.2d 446, 449 (Utah Ct.App.1996)).

“Negligent misrepresentation is a form of fraud …” Atkinson v. IHC Hospitals, Inc., 798 P.2d 733 (Utah 1990)(quoting Sugarhouse Finance Co. v. Anderson, 610 P.2d 1369, 1373 (Utah 1980)). In Utah, you must show the following to prove a claim for negligent misrepresentation:

“[1] Where one having a pecuniary interest in a transaction,

“(2) is in a superior position to know material facts, and

“(3) carelessly or negligently makes a false representation concerning them,

“(4) expecting the other party to rely and act thereon, and

“(5) the other party reasonably does so and

“(6) suffers loss in that transaction, the representor can be held responsible if the other elements of fraud are also present.”

DeBry v. Valley Mortg. Co., 835 P.2d 1000, 1008 (Utah App. 1992)(quoting Jardine v. Brunswick Corp., 18 Utah 2d 378, 381, 423 P.2d 659, 662 (1967)).

If you have been defrauded or taken advantage of through misrepresentation, you only have a limited amount of time you can file a lawsuit. The amount of time you have is known as the statute of limitations. If you wait too long to file a lawsuit, you will be precluded from doing so.

At Head Law, we understand the harm that fraudulent schemes have on you and your family, and we will fight to hold those accountable who take part in such schemes.