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Misrepresentation is a theft crime. Under Wisconsin laws, misrepresentation can be charged as a crime or pursued by non-criminal law suit against the person alleged to have misrepresented the facts.

Wisconsin law requires proof of transfer of property

Under Wisconsin laws, title to or ownership of property must transfer from the actual owner to another person or entity to prove the crime of misrepresentation. Conversely, under federal law, an actual transfer of property need not occur; rather, federal fraud charges can be brought against a person upon the mere allegation of an intent to commit a fraud. Fraud, intent and conspiracy charges are commonly found hand-in-hand in federal prosecutions, and one of the reasons for this is the ease with which federal charges can be brought without proof that property has transferred from its owner to another.

Criminal misrepresentation

Criminal misrepresentation occurs when a person unintentionally defrauds a property owner.

Misrepresentation does not occur if the person alleged to have committed the fraud had no intent to defraud the property owner. Misrepresentation also does not occur if the defendant honestly believed the facts were as he thought, even though he was incorrect in that belief. And it does not occur if the victim would have transferred title to the property regardless of the fraud.

Distinguishing misrepresentation, fraud & false pretenses

Criminal misrepresentation and criminal false pretenses differ based upon the intent and belief of the person causing the transfer of property. Basically, if the intent of the person accused of fraud was to fraudulently cause property to be transferred, then the crime can be charged as false pretenses; conversely, if the fraud was unintentional, then the crime can be charged as misrepresentation.

Criminal Fraud Defense Lawyers

If you are under investigation for fraud, whether it be misrepresentation, false pretenses or embezzlement (theft by fraud), please contact the criminal defense lawyers at Van Wagner & Wood right away. A criminal defense attorney at Van Wagner & Wood, S.C. will give you a very straight-forward assessment of the state's case against you, tell you if it is possible that you may be charged, how the law will affect if you are charged, and what you need to do next to effect the best possible outcome.

See also:
Larceny | Larceny by Trick
Embezzlement | False Pretenses | Theft




Van Wagner & Wood, S.C.

One North Pinckney Street, Suite 300 | Madison WI 53703

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Theft - Property Crimes - Fraud - Embezzlement - Robbery