Virginia Defense Contractor Fraud Actions
Virginia defense contractor fraud actions are serious. Defense contractor fraud is not a state statute, so there is no such thing as a Virginia defense contractor lawyer. This is an action under the federal False Claims Act. However, there are statutes about contractor fraud, which is when a person receives an advance of money, merchandise, or other things of value to perform construction or improvements on a property and then they fail to do the work and fail to return the advance that was received after given sufficient notice. In this instance, the consumer needs to give a 15-day demand letter to the contractor asking the contractor to return the advance that that was given.
If that took place, and if the consumer sent the demand letter and the advance was still not returned, the consumer could contact the police and there could be a contractor fraud action. This is punished as larceny, and the way the punishment is adjusted for larceny is based on the value of the item. If it is under $200, this is petty larceny. If it is over $200, it is grand larceny.
A lot of counties provide resources for consumers, such as a demand letter and an online link to file an action if this indeed turns out to be a contractor fraud type of case. A professional fraud lawyer in Virginia can provide more knowledge on the subject.
It is important to keep good records of outstanding contracts and outstanding business arrangements so that a contractor can keep track of what advance they received from which individual and what type of work was supposed to be done. Virginia defense contractor fraud charges could be avoided very easily by returning a customer’s money. If the contractor is able to keep good records on their end, they may avoid having to meddle with a situation altogether. Virginia defense contractor fraud actions require a record of contracts and business operations.
Consequences and Penalties
If the value of the item or the contract amount is less than $200.00, then it is charged as petty larceny, which is a Class 1 misdemeanor. The punishment for that is a jail sentence of not more than 12 months and a fine of $2,500.00. If the item or contract is valued more than $200, that is grand larceny, and it is punished as a lower-level Class 6 misdemeanor.
These include things like the contractor’s loss of license because of a conviction, inability to renew his or her business license, complaints with the better business bureau, bad publicity, and bad consumer reviews.
Initial Steps of a Fraud Lawyer
A fraud lawyer can help with Virginia defense contractor fraud actions. An attorney would try to understand what happened and figure out why the work was not completed. If the problem is that the general contractor did not pay or the sub-contractor was not paid, there could be a defense to be made on behalf of the sub-contractor here. The fact that the sub-contractor was not paid is good evidence and a good defense.
Initial steps would be to backtrack and create the timeline for what happened, an explanation for why the work was not done, and a record of the communication between the parties in order to spot any defenses that could be made on behalf of the contractors in question. Another thing that a lawyer would do is to try from the very beginning to spot witnesses and evidence that could be presented on behalf of the individual, and try to preserve that ahead of time. Good evidence could be, for instance, a copy of the contract that was made between the parties. That would be something that a lawyer would try to preserve from the very beginning, as well as any witnesses that were there during the exchange between the parties when the contractor was hired.
Hiring an Experienced Attorney
If contractors are convicted of fraud, this can severely impact their business and their ability to get a business license in the future. First, the contractor would face immediate consequences of the crime itself which is the fact that they can be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor or guilty of grand larceny. Secondly, there are long-term issues for them which would be the loss of a business license and bad reviews on the internet. It is very important to get somebody on the case quickly, an experienced attorney who is able to work on these cases. Call a litigator today for more information on Virginia defense fraud actions.